SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens praised his side for battling through a difficult 20 minutes after half-time unscathed in order to emerge 1-0 winners over Mansfield Town this afternoon.

Eoin Doyle’s close-range tap-in midway through the first half was the difference between the two sides, although it could have been a different story had Steven Benda not been at his best on a couple of occasions either side of half-time.

Jacob Mellis was denied one on one in the first half, but it was a save from CJ Hamilton while Mansfield were in the ascendancy after the break that really impressed Wellens.

Nicky Maynard slashed Mansfield’s best chance wide minutes later too, and the Swindon manager conceded it might have been down to a degree of luck that his team were able to maintain their lead in the early stages of the second half.

He said: “Mansfield made us work, but we also got that bit of luck we were lacking in midweek, especially during that period after half-time.

“They’re a big, strong, physical team – they have Nicky Maynard and Andy Cook up front who use their body well, there was a lot of long balls into them and we struggled during that period after half-time.

“But I can only remember Steven (Benda) making one save during that time though, and Maynard missed a chance.

“But we also had a lot of chances – in the first half, if we score that goal where Eoin (Doyle) hits the bar then we can have a more comfortable finish, but this league isn’t like that.

“I’m really pleased with the last 25 minutes where we dug in, but in the last 15 minutes, they didn’t really trouble us.”

With Swindon’s first-choice XI out during the first half, the hosts looked good value for their lead.

It was only after half-time that Wellens said his side really felt the loss of right-footed central midfielder, Jordan Lyden who went off with a hamstring problem.

Wellens said: “We had to take Jordan Lyden off because he felt his hamstring twinge, and that had a big impact.

“Our options to replace Jordan were quite limited.

“Not in terms of personnel but it means we have Grant, who I didn’t want to move from holding midfield, and two left footers.

“So our balance was a little bit off, and we went to a back five when Tom Broadbent came on.”