Mansfield Town were dealt a 2-1 defeat by Salford City at One Call Stadium despite a handful of well-worked chances throughout the evening.
After a positive first-half under the floodlights in NG18, the visiting side found themselves two goals to the good when Jake Jervis and Adam Rooney found the target.
Nicky Maynard reignited a potential comeback after a calm finish from close range, but the points were ultimately taken by the Ammies.
John Dempster opted for three changes to the side that secured a point at Forest Green Rovers last Saturday.
Matt Preston and Will Tomlinson dropped out for Ryan Sweeney and Alex MacDonald while, fresh from his brace, Andy Cook replaced CJ Hamilton in attack.
And it was the striker’s threaded pass that allowed his partner in the final third, Maynard, to force a save from Mark Howard in the early stages.
He then came even closer just moments later – guiding a deft header marginally wide of the upright from six yards.
The Ammies’ shot-stopper continued to be tasked with keeping the hosts at bay as Cook then powered a header goalwards, which had to be touched behind for a corner.
The subsequent delivery proved too hot to handle for any visiting defender allowing Conor Shaughnessy a difficult chance that he could only hook wide.
Soon after, though, the amber and blue were reminded of Salford’s attacking intent when Cameron Burgess swept home simultaneously with the offside flag.
Mansfield quickly settled back into their groove, highlighted when Maynard took down Otis Khan’s pass before firing into the midriff of Howard.
Neal Bishop then had two presentable chances but was unable to convert neither from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Despite the home side’s dominance throughout the first period, Salford again came close with five minutes remaining.
Craig Conway assumed responsibility of a free-kick from distance that crashed against the woodwork leaving hearts in mouths for the home faithful.
It proved to be the last notable action of the half that saw Dempster’s side enter the dressing room without a goal to show for their dominance.
However, with little over two minutes elapsed, the visiting side found themselves in the driving seat.
Jervis burst forward into a pocket of space and never looked elsewhere as he struck a curling effort against the inside of the post.
In an attempt to restore parity, a bouncing ball sat up perfectly for Bishop who rattled the stanchion with his effort.
Shaughnessy rode two challenges superbly before feeding Maynard who dragged his effort agonisingly wide from an acute angle, on the hour mark.
Salford traversed down the opposing end on 65 minutes and were able to make use of a loose ball.
Possession bounced around the box before falling kindly to Rooney who slammed home on the volley, doubling his side’s lead in the process.
But Mansfield would not lie low as they threatened a second-successive comeback from two goals down.
Maynard – on the shoulder of the last defender – capitalised upon some lacklustre defending as he turned his man and slotted home with confidence.
The hosts were knocking the ball across the field with ease as they sought their second of the night.
And it almost arrived with Krystian Pearce’s late run to the back post.
From Mal Benning’s delivery, Maynard flicked the ball onto his skipper who could only cushion the ball against Howard with his knee.
There was to be even more agony for the home side when Bishop’s header bobbled towards the corner, only to see it be somehow launched clear by Scott Wiseman.
Kellan Gordon delivered two teasing deliveries in the dying embers but neither were pounced upon as Salford took all three points from One Call Stadium.
Mansfield will next face Walsall in Sky Bet League Two this Saturday as they aim to bounce back from tonight’s defeat.
STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Benning, Pearce ©, Bishop, MacDonald (Afolayan 67’), Khan, Maynard, Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Cook, Gordon,
UNUSED SUBS: Olejnik (GK), Preston, Tomlinson, Hamilton, Knowles, Smith.
SALFORD XI: Howard (GK), Wiseman, Touray, Armstrong (Threlkeld 75’), Maynard, Rooney © (Dieseruvwe 75’), Burgess, Pond, Jones, Jervis, Conway (Hughes 81’).
UNUSED SUBS: Evans (GK), Lloyd, Towell, Doyle.
REFEREE: Neil Hair
ASSISTANTS: David Benton & Marc Wilson
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Abbas Khan
ATTENDANCE: 4,170 (108 away)