Mansfield Town suffered a 3-2 defeat against Leyton Orient this evening, despite a dominant first-half display at One Call Stadium.
Two first-half penalties from Danny Rose handed the home side a much-deserved advantage heading into the interval.
However, strikes from Conor Wilkinson and former Stag Lee Angol seemed to ensure the contest would end level – before Louis Dennis’ last-minute winner helped the O’s to all three points.
After achieving his first victory as Stags’ boss on Saturday at Carlisle, John Dempster made only one enforced change for the visit of Orient.
Neal Bishop – suffering from an Achilles injury sustained at the weekend – was replaced by Otis Khan.
And it took little time for Mansfield to ascend through the gears with the midfielder at the heart of the action.
Khan flashed a dangerous cross beyond all the amber and blue shirts before, in the 10thminute, he was involved to even greater effect.
His slide-rule pass through to Rose sent the frontman bearing down on goal – only to be clipped by Marvin Ekpiteta for the evening’s first spot-kick.
The striker both won and assumed responsibility of the penalty, confidently tucking home as he sent Dean Brill diving the opposite way.
Conrad Logan was then called into action with the visitors attempting to atone for their early setback.
First came a smart, close-range save from Conor Wilkinson’s effort before the ‘keeper soon palmed Ekpiteta’s header away to safety from a corner.
And the hosts almost doubled their advantage in superb circumstances just minutes thereafter.
Rose and Nicky Maynard linked up inside the O’s penalty area in an attempt to tee up Mal Benning, however, the left-back had possession stolen from his feet at the last.
Although, this was quickly forgotten about as the Stags were awarded their second penalty, on 24 minutes.
Kellan Gordon retrieved the ball and was ultimately adjudged to have been fouled by defender Joe Widdowson.
Again, Mansfield’s number 32 took responsibility from 12 yards and dispatched his penalty with ease.
It marked his fifth goal in Sky Bet League Two in only four appearances
There was so nearly a third before the half-time interval, too, when Khan struck the upright with a curling free-kick.
Following the restart, Mansfield showed little intent to ease off as they gave the O’s defence no time to rest.
Benning had two efforts from distance collected by Brill sandwiched between Rose’s overhead kick that was skewed wide.
On the hour mark, the number 3 then lofted a beautiful pass with outside of his boot towards Rose, whose eventual chip lacked enough power to test the opposing ‘keeper.
However, minutes later, the visitors had halved the deficit.
After Louis Dennis directed the ball towards goal from close range, Wilkinson was on hand to tap home amidst a crowd of bodies.
The O’s expectedly had their tails up after making steps towards a potential comeback with two efforts being dragged wide of Logan’s left-hand post.
Dempster’s men were still seeking the third, though, and it almost arrived through Kyrstian Pearce – the centre-half inches away from meeting Alex MacDonald’s delivery.
And 14 minutes after their first, the away side were level.
Angol found space on the left side of the penalty area and generated enough power to squeeze his strike underneath Logan.
Mansfield pressed for a late winner and despite several attempts to do so, they were undone in the final moments.
Substitute Dennis wrapped up proceedings in dramatic fashion as he sent Angol’s cross into the net from the back post.
Mansfield will hope to put any disappointment quickly behind them when they take on Stevenage at One Call Stadium this Saturday.
STAGS' XI: Logan (GK), White (Clarke 90’), Benning, Pearce ©, MacDonald, Khan (Smith 68’), Maynard (Hamilton 73’), Tomlinson, Sweeney, Gordon, Rose.
UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Sterling-James, Law, Gibbens.
ORIENT XI: Brill (GK), Ling, Widdowson (Gorman 87’), Ekpiteta, Coulson ©, Clay, Wilkinson (Maguire-Drew 90+3’), Happe (Dennis 46’), Brophy, Angol, Wright.
UNUSED SUBS: Sargeant (GK), Judd, Harrold, Marsh.
REFEREE: Sebastian Stockbridge
ASSISTANTS: Paul Newhouse & Richard Woodward
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Peter Gooch
ATTENDANCE: 4,128 (326 away)