After the glory of Saturday’s win over Fleetwood, Mansfield crumbled to a 4-1 home humiliation by relegation rivals Bury on Tuesday night.
The Stags looked nervy from the start and, after trailing 1-0 at the break, lost two quick in seven minutes to a Daniel Nardiello brace after the break.
Sam Clucas’ 13th goal of the season on 70 minutes offered brief hope until Jake Carroll made it 4-1 within 60 seconds.
It was Mansfield’s worst showing since the Boxing day defeat at Rochdale and saw Bury, now unbeaten in six, leapfrog them in the table with a tough trip to Dagenham and Redbridge ahead on Saturday.
Bury threatened down the right in only the second minute, but Marriott managed to smother Jones’ dangerous low cross at the second attempt.
Mansfield then produced a chance as Clucas did well to skin Jones down the left and cross to Rhead at the far post, whose nod-down was grabbed by Jensen before Stevenson could pounce.
Jones complained he had been caught by Clucas’ arm as he challenged him before the cross and went down for lengthy treatment which ended with a bandage put round a cut and his shirt changed.
Tafazolli then headed Bury’s first corner clear at the near post.
McNulty got in a good block as Rhead and Clucas combined to get the ball to Stevenson in the box as we reached the 15-minute mark of a scrappy game, littered with loose passes.
Another hold-up followed on 21 minutes after Platt was caught by a high boot from Tafazolli.
Neither side had tested the keeper until Bury produced a goal out of nothing on 25 minutes.
Mayor was offered time and space on the ball just left of centre and threaded a perfectly-placed low finish from 20 yards just past Marriott’s outstretched fingers and inside the far post.
Clucas went down in the Bury box as Mills challenged soon after but was never likely to win a penalty.
Then Rhead helped a long ball forward on to Clucas seven yards out, but with two defenders closing in on him quickly, he could only manage to poke wide.
Nardiello robbed Tafazolli on the left and then sent Jones to the by-line for a cross that beat Marriott’s fingers and saw Sutton superbly head out for a corner before any opponent could find a finish.
On 33 minutes Clucas made room for himself to get away a powerful low finish at the Bury goal, Jensen always in the way.
A long Clements free kick found Howell on the left of the box, but his header was too near the keeper.
Instead, the visitors almost doubled their lead after a loose pass from Tafazolli on 39 minutes.
Mayor whipped in a low, powerful cross from the right and Nardiello met it first time with a rising finish that the Bury players felt Marriott tipped over, the referee giving only a goalkick.
Clucas was high and wild soon afterwards.
Amazingly there were chants of ‘what a load of rubbish’ with just 41 minutes on the watch from home fans in the South Stand, which was hardly likely to encourage the players.
Five added minutes produced nothing as Stags left the pitch to a mixture of boos and applause.
Stevenson shot over the near angle from Daniel’s pass inside within 15 seconds of the restart as Stags tried to make an immediate impact.
Rhead won a free kick 20 yards out on 49 minutes, but Clements was well over to groans from the stands.
Jensen was furious after Rhead made the slightest of contacts with him after he had caught the ball, the referee having to lecture the pair at length.
On 53 minutes Mayor went down under Westlake’s challenge in the box, but the referee waved play on and Tutte’s low shot was parried by Marriott.
But it was 2-0 three minutes later. Mayor drilled in a low cross from the right by-line right across the face of goal and Nardiello found the net off the inside of the far post near his feet, the ball bouncing back across goal and over the line.
Daniel then jumped into a challenge on Jones to earn a 57th minute booking.
Westlake fed Stevenson into the Bury box but Carroll took the ball off him just as he was about to pull the trigger on 61 minutes.
Two minutes later it was all over as Nardiello held off the challenge of Dempster from a long ball forward and, spotting Marriott off his line, lobbed him to perfection from the right hand side of the box.
Stags had just replaced Rhead with Palmer, but it now looked like game over.
On 67 minutes Leicester loanee Cain made his debut in place of Clements.
Three minutes later Stags pulled one back. Daniel’s cross from the left was only palmed by Jensen to the lurking Clucas who, from close range, turned the ball up against the underside of the bar and it bounced over the line.
But within a minute Bury had restored their three-goal advantage as Marriott pushed a right wing cross straight to Carroll who, from 14 yards found the top left corner.
Goalscorer Carroll was then booked for his clash with Westlake on the left.
Palmer should have pulled another back three minutes from time, but blasted across the face of goal from close range.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli (Hutchinson, 81); Westlake, Clements (Cain, 67), Stevenson, Howell, Daniel; Rhead (Palmer, 63), Clucas. Subs: Dyer, Beevers, Meikle, McGuire.
BURY: Jensen, McNulty, Jones, Sedgwick, Mayor (Miller, 72), Tutte, Nardiello (Dudley, 90), Platt (Forrester, 68), Carroll, Veseli, Mills. Subs: Charles-Cook, Hinds, Proctor, Burke
Stags: Clucas (71); Bury: Mayor (22); Nardiello (56), (64), Carroll (71).
2,628 (220 away)
Stuart Attwell of Nuneaton
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: