Goals from Krystian Pearce and Omari Sterling-James were ultimately in vain as Mansfield Town were beaten 6-5 by Morecambe on penalties in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
Two headers from Morecambe’s Steven Old were twice cancelled out by the Stags as Pearce and Sterling-James both found the back of the net to the delight of the home faithful.
The draw signalled a penalty shootout to decide the evening’s victors – and the Shrimps eventually came out on top.
John Dempster made a total of five changes from Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two outing, including starts for both Dion Donohue and Andy Cook.
Hayden White also featured amongst the starting line-up after fully recovering from a hamstring strain.
And Cook sought to get his side off to the perfect start with a dangerous, downward header that trickled across the face of goal and away to safety.
There were hearts in mouths soon after, though, when Alistair Smith’s clearance had to be pounced upon by Conrad Logan as it rebounded against his own man.
But Mansfield were evidently buoyed by their bright opening spell – highlighted when Cook escaped the attentions of his man only to see his goalbound strike deflected into the grasp of Mark Halstead.
However, for all of the Stags’ endeavours it was instead the visitors who broke the deadlock on Tuesday evening.
In the 18th minute, Old found himself with enough space inside the area to nod into the far corner and give his side the advantage.
The contest continued to ebb and flow until tempers flared just minutes after the opening goal.
Luke Conlan’s heavy challenge from behind on Kellan Gordon resulted in a straight red card for the visitor’s left-back – something the Stags almost immediately profited from.
Cook, causing havoc once more, rattled the crossbar from Benning’s low delivery as the hosts inched closer to restoring parity.
Soon after, Smith took aim from distance but his powerful effort whistled wide; meaning Old’s header was the difference at the break.
Mansfield showcased their intentions as they threatened an equaliser from the restart.
CJ Hamilton pressured Ritchie Sutton into a hurried pass back to Halstead, before Benning’s rapid cross narrowly evaded the touch of the Stags’ number 22.
But the home side would have their much-deserved goal on 56 minutes.
Khan’s wicked corner kick was turned goalwards by Ryan Sweeney, and while there was an initial save from Halstead, the loose ball was knocked in by Pearce with little hesitation.
Although, despite Dempster’s side working themselves back into the tie, they quickly fell behind once more.
Old notched his second of the game with a looping header on the hour mark meaning the amber and blue were reverted back to need yet another goal.
And it duly arrived just nine minutes thereafter, in the shape of substitute Sterling-James.
A neat touch coupled with a first-time effort saw his effort ripple the back of the net after creeping in at the near post.
The home side had their tails up following a second equaliser and the tables were almost completely turned when Sterling-James flicked a header marginally wide of the upright.
The fingertips of Halstead then denied both White’s cross and Benning’s powerful shot from crossing the goal line.
Mansfield mounted the pressure in search of a late winner and there was almost a dream ending for Smith, on only his second ever senior appearance.
The youngster picked up possession and drilled a venomous strike from 25 yards only an inch wide of the post.
The home side were unable to conjure a late winner leaving penalties to decide who would progress.
Mal Benning, Danny Rose and Pearce were all on target during the initial five penalties as the night descended into sudden death.
And both sides continued to tuck home the spot kicks before Ryan Sweeney fired his penalty above the crossbar, sending the visitors through.
STAGS' XI: Logan (GK), White, Benning, Pearce ©, Khan, Donohue (Tomlinson 46’), Sweeney, Cook (Rose 66’), Gordon, Hamilton (Sterling-James 66’), Smith.
UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Clarke, Sinclair, Gibbens.
MORECAMBE XI: Halstead (GK), Conlan, Old, Alessandra (Kenyon 46’), Sutton (Buxton 76’), Brewitt, Lavelle ©, Oates (O’Sullivan 76’), Miller, Tanner, Cranston.
UNUSED SUBS: Roche (GK), Stockton, Ellison, Jagne.
REFEREE: Robert Lewis
ASSISTANTS: Paul Hobday & Matthew Perry
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Conor Brown
ATTENDANCE: 1,884 (66 away)