Mansfield Town suffered a 1-0 defeat against Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors were reduced to ten men early on when Luke Waterfall’s late challenge left the referee little choice.
But it would matter little as Mal Benning’s unfortunate own goal was enough to separate the sides in Nottinghamshire.
Following Wednesday’s dramatic victory at Cambridge United, Graham Coughlan named an unchanged matchday squad for the Mariners’ visit to the East Midlands.
Mansfield found themselves in the ascendency from the outset but were unable to profit from several rapid corners inside the first few moments.
And they were handed an extra boost in only the tenth minute.
Jacob Mellis won the ball ahead of Waterfall, who subsequently cleaned out the Stags midfielder with a dangerous challenge – leaving referee James Oldham little choice in brandishing a straight-red card.
The game had yet to spark into life when Moses Ogbu’s deflected effort jumped safely into the palms of Conrad Logan.
Soon after, Nicky Maynard was thwarted one-on-one by James McKeown’s sprawling save as the striker threatened to break the deadlock.
The No. 11 then linked up neatly with Hayden White with the eventual cross being diverted to safety.
It proved to be a first half that contained few chances but Logan had to be alert towards the end to deny Charles Vernam the opener. His long-distance strike being palmed clear as it moved through the air.
Into the second period and Alex MacDonald watched two quick-fire efforts rebound amongst one of the defenders inside McKeown’s 18-yard box.
Then, down the other end, Harry Clifton worked space for a chance to snatch the lead but his curler never found its way close to the target.
Continually probing the back-line, Mansfield seemed to be edging closer to finding the back of the net. Danny Rose was unable to control possession to let fly before Benning forced another save from the visiting ‘keeper.
And on 66 minutes, the away side forged the opener with help from some good fortune.
The ball fell kindly to Liam Gibson on the near side, after Ahkeem Rose missed his touch, and his drilled cross was inadvertently steered into the net via Benning.
Coughlan’s men were attempting to wipe away the arrears and watched MacDonald’s looping half-volley give McKeown more work to do.
Maynard had a chance to make himself the hero once more as the clock ticked towards full time; however, he unfortunately sliced the ball wide of the mark.
But he so nearly found an equaliser from miles out with the very last kick of the game. An audacious effort from distance had the Grimsby shot-stopper scrambling backwards, before tipping it over the bar.
Forest Green Rovers are Mansfield’s next opponents when they visit One Call Stadium on Saturday 11 January.
STAGS XI: Logan (GK), White (Clarke 74’), Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop (Cook 51’), MacDonald, Mellis, Maynard, Hamilton, D. Rose (Davies 86’).
UNUSED SUBS: Olejnik (GK), Khan, Knowles, Smith.
GRIMSBY XI: McKeown (GK) ©, Hendrie, Gibson \(Whitehouse 80’), Davis, Waterfall, Hessenthaler, Robson, Clifton, Vernam, Wright (Pollock 13’), Ogbu (A. Rose 55’).
UNUSED SUBS: Russell (GK), Ohman, Cardwell, Hewitt.
REFEREE: James Oldham
ASSISTANTS: Christopher Husband & Richard Wigglesworth
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Marvyn Amphlett
ATTENDANCE: 5,840 (1,337 away)