Boss Nigel Adkins was delighted with the performance of Rob Apter after Tranmere extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 2-1 win over Mansfield at Prenton Park.

Apter, on loan from Blackpool, scored his 10th goal of the season to inflict a second defeat in three games on Nigel Clough’s Stags, who remain top of Sky Bet League Two by two points from Wrexham.

Adkins’ side took the lead when Regan Hendry fired past Christy Pym from the corner of the area after 12 minutes.

And they could have doubled their advantage with Brad Walker and Kieron Morris both coming close.

Mansfield made them pay just before half-time when Will Swan latched onto a Louis Reed through-ball to prod the ball home from close range.

But Rovers restored their lead 12 minutes after the break when Apter fired past Pym from the edge of the box after evading the efforts of the Town defenders.

Tranmere boss Adkins said: “The lads have consistently been putting in good performances and tonight we were playing the league leaders and we scored two really good goals and passed the ball well.

“We also defended resolutely when we needed to and the players have been doing that on a consistent basis and have been rewarded tonight with that win.

“Rob Apter has been producing the goods regularly. You give him the ball and he gives you that bit of flair out wide, he can take somebody on, link with a team-mate, he can use both feet and he scores goals.

“That’s 10 goals now since we changed things around in November and we would have been third in the league in terms of our form since then and you can see that by the team spirit and I thought we looked a really good footballing side tonight.

“The lads have been magnificent and we’ve got to keep doing that and keep building.”

Mansfield manager Nigel Clough said: “I thought we were a bit unfortunate as we had the situations and the chances in the game to take all three points.

“That’s the second time in a week that we’ve been beaten by a deflected goal as well, which is disappointing.

“It’s been the case in a few of our away games this season that we’ve been getting the chances but have not been able to convert them. When you get chances you have to make the most of them, as you saw tonight.

“We’re still top of the league and five points clear of the team in fourth place with nine games to go.

“We’ve got Bradford away at the weekend, which won’t be easy as at this time of the year when you’re top of the league you see teams raise their game against you.

“We’re still there at the top and we’re going to try and stay there.”