Mansfield Town progressed to the last 32 of the Leasing.com Trophy following a well-earned 2-1 victory over League One side Burton Albion on Tuesday evening.
The Stags arrived at the Pirelli Stadium knowing only a win would take them through to the next round and they battled hard to complete the job.
Danny Rose marked his return to the starting line-up with a beautiful chip on 23 minutes before Ryan Sweeney nodded home his second of the season 11 minutes later.
The hosts halved the deficit exactly one minute thereafter, via David Templeton’s curling effort, yet were never able to conjure another, which meant the visitors escaped Group E in second place.
John Dempster marked his side’s final Leasing.com Trophy group stage game with wholesale changes from the Emirates FA Cup victory over Chorley.
Will Tomlinson, Matt Preston and Sweeney were the three to keep their place in the starting XI.
The opening stages belonged to the hosts as they boasted the majority of possession. A diving, fingertip save from Olejnik had thwarted Lucas Akins from distance, amongst a flurry of corners.
Mansfield sought to grow into the evening’s contest and did just that when Omari Sterling-James’ low drive was palmed to safety by debutant Ben Garratt.
A lightning-fast counter then ended with CJ Hamilton being slipped in by Jacob Mellis, yet the eventual delivery was hooked clear before it could reach Rose who lurked in the centre.
But the Stags’ no. 32 would get his chance to fire his side into the lead soon after.
Alistair Smith pounced upon a loose ball in the middle of the field to release Rose, who made no mistake with a calm dink past the onrushing Garratt.
Sterling-James lingered around the Burton defence and so nearly profited from a mix-up on the ball. The winger struck towards an empty net but Colin Daniel was close enough to block.
The Brewers threatened an equaliser on the half-hour mark – Scott Fraser shaping to shoot – yet his attempt cleared Olejnik’s crossbar.
And just four minutes thereafter, the amber and blue found themselves a two-goal cushion.
Following a corner from the far side, Sweeney popped up amidst a crowd of yellow and teal shirts to power home with his head.
The advantage, though, was quickly slashed in half as Templeton found the top corner with a curler from the edge of the area, despite Olejnik getting a touch in the process.
Nigel Clough’s men would not lie low and pressed for an equaliser before the half-time break.
A ball flashed across the face of goal did not rear its required touch before the Brewers’ initial goalscorer, Templeton, twice stung the palms of Olejnik.
The Austrian shot-stopper ended the half in similar fashion, denying Fraser who had danced his way towards the area.
Into the second half and there were few gilt-edged chances to report, until James Clarke set Rose free.
The full-back released his teammate with a delightful ball down the channel; however, his eventual strike flew the wrong side of the near post.
And this marked the end of the striker’s evening as he was replaced by Jordan Graham, who came on to make his first appearance in the Stags’ senior fold since January.
Soon after, Mellis found Tomlinson on the move but his outside-of-the-boot effort fell into the midriff of Garratt.
The home side made inroads to restore parity and almost did so through Akins – who could only force another stop from Olejnik.
Daniel was next to find himself with a shooting chance but he dragged his first-time effort wide of the mark.
Despite a late onslaught from the League One outfit, Mansfield stayed resolute to confirm their place in the next stage of the competition.
Attentions will now turn back to Sky Bet League Two for John Dempster’s charges as they make the journey to face Macclesfield Town on Saturday afternoon.
STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), Preston ©, Mellis (Afolayan 67’), Shaughnessy, Tomlinson, Sweeney, Clarke, Hamilton, Sterling-James (MacDonald 89’), Smith, Rose (Graham 61’).
UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Benning, Cook, Gordon.
BURTON XI: Garratt (GK), Daniel, Edwards, Buxton © (Sarkic 46’), Wallace, Quinn, Fraser, Akins, Templeton (Anderson 71’), Sbarra, O’Toole (Brayford 76’).
UNUSED SUBS: Livesey (GK), Beardsley.
REFEREE: Leigh Doughty
ASSISTANTS: Abbas Khan & Ollie Williams
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Elliott Swallow
ATTENDANCE: 485 (away attendance not announced)