Stags’ reserves were beaten 2-0 by Notts County reserves in a Central League clash on Tuesday afternoon.
Kion Etete and Elliott Ward were on target for the hosts in the first-half to secure the three points.
Striker Zayn Hakeem went close twice in the second-half, hitting the crossbar and seeing his one-on-one opportunity well-saved by Magpies’ goalkeeper Max Culverwell.
A young Mansfield outfit were led by frontman Danny Rose in the clash at Ilkeston Town’s New Manor Ground, in what was the Stags’ penultimate Central League outing of the season.
And it was Rose who was at the heart of the action in the first 30 seconds of the game. The former Bury striker saw his cross deflect into the path of Alistair Smith, who sliced his volley wide of the mark from inside the area.
Etete fired a volley of his own towards goal, and despite making a good connection, Mansfield goalkeeper Sam Wilson was able to watch it wide.
Just a moment later, Etete had found the net. An under-hit backpass from Trialist was read by the Notts’ striker, who was able to steal possession from the toes of Wilson and roll the ball home into the vacated goal.
Smith showed good close control to pluck the ball out of the air before feeding Hakeem, whose cross towards the back post evaded Rose.
Rose then saw his opportunity bravely blocked by a Notts’ defender, and it looked to be an important touch as the effort was heading towards the back of the net.
Cedric Evina had a chance to double Notts' lead when he received possession at the back post, yet his effort was tame and easily claimed by Wilson.
Harry Bircumshaw delivered a wonderful cross towards Rose, who was halted by the raising of the offside flag.
Wilson was then called into action, producing a fine stop from Sam Osborne’s powerful drive from just outside the area.
Following a series of resulting corners, the hosts doubled their advantage. A deep flag-kick floated all the way to Ward at the back post, who was left with the simple task of nodding home.
Remaye Campbell looked to add another goal for the hosts, yet Wilson was able to keep hold of his low effort.
Rose was then able to take the ball down on his chest, before dragging his effort wide on the half-volley.
Notts almost had a third just after the restart, yet Aiden Walker remained alert to produce a superb goal-line clearance to deny Will Patching.
The Stags responded well, as Hakeem cut in from the right, before seeing his slightly deflected effort clatter the crossbar.
Patching fired a low free-kick towards goal, but Wilson was able to bat away the effort. This opportunity was followed by yet another free-kick from the 20-year-old midfielder, with this set piece sailing over the bar.
Possession fell to Hakeem in the area, who fired his volley wide of Culverwell’s near post.
The young forward was provided a golden one-on-one opportunity soon after, but was denied by the Magpies’ custodian, who produced an excellent save.
The Stags saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages, but were kept at bay by a resolute Notts’ defence, with both sides cancelling each other out for the majority of a gritty second-half.
Mansfield next face Port Vale reserves on Tuesday 30 April for their final Central League fixture of the season. A venue for this fixture will be announced in due course.
STAGS’ XI: Wilson, Walker, Wilder (Gooden 46’), Bircumshaw, Trialist, Gibbens, Fielding, Ward, Rose (Sketchley 61’), Smith, Hakeem.
UNUSED SUBS: Marrs, Tague, Molyneaux.
NOTTS’ XI: Culverwell, Jones, Ward, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Evina, Etete (Wilde 60’), Brisley, Patching, Osborne, Dunn.
UNUSED SUBS: Brooks, Kennedy-Williams, Bucalossi, Simmons.