Stags' under-18s fell to a 3-1 defeat against Doncaster Rovers under-18s following two late goals from the visitors in the EFL Youth Alliance League match on Saturday.
Stags opened the scoring through Rhys Sarson after the forward slid in to score his eighth goal of the season. However, a Marius Conradi strike, and late goals from Rieves Boocock and Branden Horton meant that the visitors took all three points from the game.
Joao Rangel and Sarson came into what was an attacking Stags' starting XI, following the 2-1 defeat against Lincoln City last Saturday, with Matty Langton and Nathan Saunders settling for a place on the bench.
Stags began the game brightly, playing with high intensity, and it wasn't long before the game's first chance arrived.
Some neat build-up play from Stags led to James Tague threading a defence-splitting pass through for Sarson to give chase. Sarson made up the ground to get to the ball first but, with the angle ever tightening, his effort flashed wide of the 'keeper's far post.
Seconds later, Sarson found himself in almost an identical position - with Tague again the supplier, following some strong running from Riley O'Sullivan. Unfortunately, the outcome was also the same - although this time there was more venom in Sarson's strike as it whistled agonisingly the wrong side of the far post.
Continuing with their positive start to the game, Stags took the lead on the ten minute mark - with Sarson getting his rewards for some tenacious forward play.
Tague - again involved - fed the ball out to the right for Jimmy Knowles, whose pass found its way through to Sarson. The Stags' number nine competed for the first ball inside the penalty area, and then was first to react as he pounced on the loose ball, sliding in to ensure the ball crossed over the line.
The next 15 minutes saw a penalty appeal for either side and some terrific one-touch football in the midfield from Stags, with Tague and O'Sullivan at the heart of it.
With 25 gone, Knowles found some space on the left-hand side and was able to turn and run at the defender with the ball at his feet. Cutting inside onto his right foot, he lashed an effort towards goal but the Doncaster goalkeeper, Declan Ogley, parried the ball away.
The rebound almost found its way to Sarson, who was sliding in to tuck the ball home at the back post, but he was denied by a fantastic covering interception from Horton who managed to clear.
Horton, the Doncaster left-back, then found some space on the left to whip in a teasing cross, which was crying out for a tap-in, but both Conradi and Boocock couldn't get a touch on it, and a thankful Keaton Marrs watched the ball go all the way through and out for a goal kick.
Doncaster were finishing the half strongly, and a quick free-kick down the left-hand side saw Jack Watson get in behind the defensive line. He pulled the ball back to Boocock who, from six-yards out, smashed the ball goalwards but was denied by a terrific reaction save from Marrs - preventing what looked certain to be the equalising goal.
The away side's pressure told five minutes before half-time, when Horton was fortunate to see his pass deflect into the path of Conradi, but the striker's finish was exquisite as he cut inside onto his right and fired low and hard into the corner of Marrs' net from 20 yards out.
Stags almost regained the lead before the break, after a succession of set-pieces caused panic at the back for the visitors, but the scoreline remained 1-1.
Both sides came out with a positive approach in the second half, in a game that was providing some excellent passages of skilful play combined with some physical battles all over the field.
Boocock was first to get a sighting of goal in the second, when his neat turn from the right got him away from two defenders, but his sliced effort evaded the far post.
It was the Doncaster number nine who again caused problems down the right, as he fizzed in a ball for Watson, who took a touch before pulling the trigger which was enough for Noah Stokes to get a foot in and clear.
O'Sullivan, up against two defenders, used his strength to win an aerial duel, before a burst of acceleration from the Stags' forward saw him go through on goal. Perhaps having more time than he thought, he took his shot early, but - unlike last week when his effort flew into the top corner - this one dragged wide of the far post.
Then, Stokes came close from a Tyrese Sinclair corner, but his snap-shot was well saved by Ogley, who stood tall in the Doncaster goal to parry away.
Rio Molyneaux was on as a second-half substitute and was causing real problems for the Doncaster left-back with his direct running and electric pace.
Having beaten his man and gotten to the byline on numerous occasions, the only thing missing was the final ball, which wasn't quite hitting its target as each time it seemed to just evade finding a team-mate.
With Stags applying the pressure, there was always the danger of a counter-attack the other way - and with 82 minutes played, Doncaster capped off an excellent move.
A threaded ball through from Watson found Boocock, who from the corner of the penalty area unleashed a thunderous right-footed effort that hurled into the top right corner of Marrs' goal.
And just four minutes later, Doncaster sealed the victory, when Horton came forward from left-back, dribbled inside and from the edge of the area sent a curling effort sailing into the far corner of the net for 3-1.
A little stunned by the late goals - excellent though they were - Stags were unable to respond to going behind and the referee brought proceedings to a close.
STAGS' STARTING XI: Marrs, King, Sketchley (Davis 67') , Rangel, Armsden, Stokes, Knowles, Tague (c), Sarson (Molyneaux 45'), Sinclair, O'Sullivan.
SUBS NOT USED: Langton, Cashmore, Saunders.
DONCASTER STARTING XI: Ogley, Walker, Horton, Husani, Foulkes (c), Baldock-Smith, Barnett, McGowen (Smith 70') Boocock, Conradi, Watson (Bell 78').
SUBS NOT USED: Dimou, Bottomley, Blythe.