Mansfield Town were defeated 3-2 by Oldham Athletic despite a battling display at Boundary Park on Monday afternoon.
Gevaro Nepomuceno struck a minute before the half-hour mark to ensure the hosts entered half time with a one-goal lead.
Mohamed Maouche and Nepomuceno each found the back of the net following the interval, either side of a well-taken finish by Tyler Walker.
And Neal Bishop ensured for a tense ending with his strike that again, like Walker’s, reduced the cushion to single goal – a barrier the visitors were unable to overcome despite an offside call on Danny Rose, who turned the ball home with the last kick of the game.
Stags’ boss David Flitcroft named an unchanged matchday squad for their penultimate away day in Sky Bet League Two.
The hosts made a quick start to proceedings at Boundary Park and had the ball in the back of the net in the fifth minute.
However, as everyone but Callum Lang had initially failed to notice, the offside flag had been raised denying the midfielder the opening goal.
Mansfield then looked to respond in fast-paced fashion themselves with two well-worked crosses from Gethin Jones and Jorge Grant being hooked clear.
The latter was soon involved in the defensive third – denying the Latics a presentable chance at Conrad Logan’s target with a strong tackle.
Minutes later, Walker was afforded plenty of space to try his luck from the edge of the penalty area, but the striker’s attempt dipped wide of Daniel Iversen’s upright.
The Stags continued their endeavours to break the deadlock yet it was the home side who did such on 29 minutes.
Nepomuceno latched onto a slide-rule pass through the middle and kept calm to slot the ball underneath Logan.
Flitcroft’s side, expectedly, began to mount an instant response following the hosts’ breakthrough.
Mal Benning first drilled a teasing ball across the face of Iversen’s goal, but nobody was there to tuck home, before he then found CJ Hamilton who cleared the bar with his first-time effort.
The left-back, less than two minutes after, assumed responsibility of the Stags’ fifth corner kick that should have yielded an equaliser.
Ryan Sweeney met the pinpoint delivery at the near post and could only divert his header wide of the target from close range.
It meant that the Stags trailed heading into half time with only one task to complete once they returned for the second period.
And they could so easily have restored parity two minutes after the restart.
Bishop recycled possession from a Stags set-piece and, rather unexpectedly, the ball made its way through to Krystian Pearce who was unable to make the necessary contact.
The affair became stretched and, from an Oldham corner, Mansfield countered at speed.
Hamilton escaped the attentions of several men to find Jacob Mellis but the eventual effort was smothered by Tom Hamer – allowing Iversen to gather with ease and bring momentary calm.
And this proved crucial when the hosts notched their second goal in the 56th minute.
Nepomuceno, the opening goalscorer, had an attempt blocked that kindly fell to Maouche who was able to smash home on the turn.
It was an already captivating contest that took another drastic turn on the hour mark when Mansfield were able to halve the deficit.
A crisp, one-touch move that involved Mellis, substitute Rose and Walker ended with the latter firing through the legs of Iversen in front of the travelling Stags' faithful.
However, for all of their efforts, they could do very little about Oldham’s third, which arrived seven minutes later.
Nepomuceno hung back at the edge of the Stags’ 18-yard box and profited from a header that fell his way – lashing the ball beyond Logan with aplomb.
Logan, though, thwarted Callum Lang superbly from a one-on-one to deny the home side a fourth of the afternoon.
And Mansfield sparked hope once more with a fine finish on 76 minutes.
Bishop made space expertly on the edge of the area and was able to find the bottom corner with a first time finish.
Walker then broke clear minutes later, yet his effort uncharacteristically sailed beyond the frame of Iversen’s goal.
Heading into additional time, the Stags were denied a grandstand finale by the same offside flag that denied Lang the opener.
Mellis received possession from Walker and his effort struck the frame of Iversen’s goal. Rose turned home the rebound but celebrations were cut short by the decision that arrived from the far side.
Despite a spirited display, the points were taken by Oldham.
Mansfield remain third in Sky Bet League two as their penultimate fixture, against Stevenage, takes place at One Call Stadium this forthcoming Saturday.
STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop, Mellis, Sweeney (Rose 59’), Walker, Jones, Hamilton, Grant (MacDonald 53’).
SUBS NOT USED: Smith (GK), Atkinson, Tomlinson, Turner, Hakeem.
OLDHAM XI: Iversen (GK), Edmundson, Iacovitti, O’Grady, Missilou, Lang, Clarke ©, Nepomuceno, Maouche, Hamer, Sylla (Hunt 84’).
SUBS NOT USED: De La Paz (GK), Taylor, Coke, Benteke, Sefil, Afolayan.
REFEREE: Josh Busby.
ASSISTANTS: Graeme Fyvie & Lee Freeman.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Tom Nield.
ATTENDANCE: 6,179 (1,334 away).