A 1-0 win at the One Call Stadium in Monday’s early kick-off saw the Shrews take over at the top of the League Two table ahead of the 3pm games.
Mellon’s men were made to work hard for their narrow and slightly fortunate victory.
The luck was against the gutsy Stags as the deadlock was broken five minutes into the second half. Mark Ellis’ cross from the right took a deflection that lifted the ball up and over goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley and half-time substitute Tyrone Barnett made sure it went in from almost on the line.
After the goal Shrewsbury spent much of the rest of the match defending against constant Mansfield pressure. But, apart from a Chris Clements shot that whistled over the crossbar, visiting goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler was well protected.
It was a fifth straight win for the Shrews but a fourth defeat on the bounce leaves the Stags still in the relegation battle.
Mellon said: “People can get carried away sometimes and not understand what football is all about.
“At this time of the season that was what it is all about. You need guts and you need character. You have to defend your 18-yard box. We had so many free-kicks come in and we defended them. That was massive.
“You have to stand your ground and fight and win the knock-downs.
“That was probably the story of the game. We answered the questions that this game asked of us and we scored a goal.
“Not a coach in the world can do anything about that many free-kicks coming into your box with four or five 6ft 3ins guys there to get on the end of them. You just have to get on the end of them – and we did.
“The boys protected the keeper superbly well and we have come out of it with an unbelievable result and a clean sheet.”
Mansfield manager Adam Murray felt his team should have won the game.
“We have gone up against a top of the table team and dictated the game without being ruthless. We should have beaten them,” said Murray.
“You can’t put that many balls in danger areas that many times and not come away with something – it’s criminal.
“Then you get beaten by a deflected shot, that’s how it is going for us.
“We have have to work hard and stick together now. Only the group of 22 or 23 players inside those four walls are going to do this.
“Let’s be honest, we are up against the world. But if we stick together I am sure we will come out the other side.
“They have all given everything today for the cause. But sometimes you do just come up short. We have put a top-of-the-table team to the sword and stabbed ourselves.
“They have seven top class strikers. Give us three of those and we’d have won that 4-0. We don’t have the X-factor they have.
“The lads were shattered on their feet by the end. We couldn’t have done any more.”
Murray added: “Ricky Ravenhill has damaged ankle ligaments, Jamie McGuire went over on his ankle but managed to soldier on until he came off, then Vadaine Oliver has done his shoulder.
“But no-one really feels sorry for us. There is no point in me doing press as people don’t want to hear excuses or reasons.”