Matthew Green's hat-trick helped Mansfield come from behind as they swept aside struggling Darlington.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's header put the visitors ahead, before John Dempster nodded home the equaliser.
Green then put the Stags in front when he fired in, before he finished clinically to double their lead.
John McCready's strike made it 3-2, but Green grabbed his third from the spot and Louis Briscoe shot into the top corner to complete the scoring.
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Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"There are a lot of clubs that have played games when we haven't. For the first 35 minutes we were still in third gear and you could tell that our match sharpness and what we usually do wasn't there.
"But the longer the game went on we got sharper and stronger - and I can't wait for the games to come thick and fast because we will get sharper and stronger.
"We are getting better. We were awful on Saturday and we improved ten-fold tonight but there is still a lot more to come.
"It was a no-win game for us because everyone expected us to beat Darlington, but we were very professional."
Darlington boss Craig Liddle told BBC Tees:
"It might sound bizarre, but i'm an awful lot happier than I was last week - we went down at Southport and Alfreton without a fight.
"Tonight at least we showed fight and we tried to do the correct things, (but) we've been undone by schoolboy errors.
"One ball over the top has done us on numerous occasions, and I've said to the youngsters that they've got to learn, to deal with it and do the best they can."