DAVID Flitcroft felt victory over Mansfield Town this afternoon was imperative for Swindon Town’s ambitions this season after they secured an excellent 1-0 win at the Energy Check County Ground.

After picking up just one point from away trips to fellow promotion hopefuls Lincoln City and Accrington Stanley over the past week, Swindon welcomed a Stags side also in the thick of the play-off battle to SN1.

Flitcroft stressed the significance of the contest to his players in the build-up to the match and they responded in fine fashion, claiming a fourth straight home victory through Matt Taylor’s first-half strike to climb up to fifth in the table and move within two points of the automatic promotion places.

“It is an important win. We built it up before the game to the players just how important it was. Losing against Accrington made it more important,” said Flitcroft.

“To keep the home form really positive was really important and the fans were just brilliant today, there was a real energy in the stadium in the second half.

“I felt as though we didn’t look vulnerable and looked safe and I am just delighted for the players, they have dug in.

“Mentally, the last two games have been tough to take so we have had to get the players back to ground zero and imprint what the last 15 games of the season could mean.

“They have done that to a man. They have backed each other up and run themselves into the ground and really performed excellently.”

Mansfield arrived at the County Ground on a run of nine matches without defeat in League Two but were not allowed to hit top gear by a superb Swindon performance.

Town could have had more goals than the they did get from Taylor six minutes before the break, with Stags stopper Conrad Logan pulling off a number of fine saves, while the home defence ushered out Mansfield threats in resolute fashion throughout the 90 minutes.

“We created so many chances. Matt Taylor’s crossing was on a different level and Conrad Logan, who is one of the best keepers in this league, has pulled off four or five saves on the line from balls that are going in. He was just incredible,” said Flitcroft.

“That is a tough team to beat. They have been on fantastic run and have a manager that wins football matches.

“He has built a top, top squad and that was on show today but anything they threw at us, we dealt with.

“Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings are two of the liveliest and most hard-working strikers in the league and we nullified them down to not many chances.

“I am absolutely delighted with the performance against a very good Mansfield team.”