Graham Coughlan described Mansfield’s goalless draw at Cheltenham as a fine advert for Sky Bet League Two.
There were no goals at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, but the Stags put in a much-improved display against their third-placed opponents, who were denied a third-straight win.
Looking for their first win of the season, Mansfield edged the first half before Cheltenham asked most of the questions after the break.
Despite a lack of clear goalscoring chances, Coughlan enjoyed the contest, which was played in heavy rain and a strong wind.
“I thought we saw two good teams and it was a good advert for League Two football,” Coughlan said. “We dominated the first half and they shaded the second half.
“Cheltenham will be up there at the end of the season and on another day we could’ve won it late on. We just have to show a little more composure.
“Cheltenham are on fire at the moment, but we came with a game plan to win it and the intention was to win it late in the game. It’s a point to build on and the players showed character.
“I’m hopeful that first win isn’t too far away. Don’t write us off just yet.”
The closest either team were to a breakthrough was in the 58th minute when Stags goalkeeper Marek Stech made a fine reaction save after a long throw from Ben Tozer.
The ball fell straight to Alfie May in the box, but Harry Charlsey made a superb clearance off the line to keep it out.
May then combined with Chris Hussey to create another clear chance, but May’s effort flashed just past the far post.
Mansfield had edged the first period without seriously testing Cheltenham goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.
The hosts looked the more likely winners late on with Chris Clements curling a shot over after a skilful run against his former club before substitute Andy Williams saw an effort deflected over the crossbar.
But Mansfield stood firm as Cheltenham registered their first draw of the campaign.
Robins boss Michael Duff was pleased with his side’s second-half improvement.
“If we’d played another 10 minutes we’d have scored the goal because they were rocking at the end,” he said. “It’s a filthy day and I was disappointed with the first half.
“In the second half I thought we were excellent and one thing we didn’t do is work the goalkeeper enough.
“If you go on chances, we did enough to win the game, but the key is that if you can’t win the game, keep a clean sheet and a point and move on, keep the scoreboard turning.”