A brace from Julian Topliss inspired Sherwood Colliery to a 3-2 defeat of Clay Cross Town at Debdale Park.
Saturday’s Black Dragons Badges South match saw Millers fall behind when Lee Easom opened the scoring for Wood but Aiden Ordidge levelled matters.
Topliss’s double then put daylight between the teams before Josh Pickering scored late on to give Clay Cross hope, though it remained 3-2.
It was a bitterly cold afternoon in Mansfield.
A summer recruitment drive and big spending had now turned the Sherwood Colliery club into formidable opposition and serious challengers for Central Midlands League success.
The quality showed from the outset and the woodwork became Town’s saviour on two occasions in the opening minutes.
The deadlock was broken though on 25 minutes when Easom opened his account for the home side. It was then that Clay Cross rose to the occasion and commanded the game and this spell of pressure was rewarded when Ordidge levelled.
Chances fell again for Clay Cross but on several occasions they went agonisingly wide.
The next goal came on 64 minutes when Topliss fired past a helpless Millers keeper.
Less than ten minutes later it was Topliss again who took advantage of a defensive mix-up to extend the lead to 3-1.
With minutes remaining a Pickering free-kick bought about a nervy end but the hosts held on to win 3-2 and take the full three-points.
Seventh-placed Clay Cross travel to in-form Selston on Saturday. Selston, riding third in the table with games in hand, inflicted a 7-1 defeat on Bulwell (2pm kick off).