Mark Ward’s unbeaten start as AFC Mansfield boss came to an end as a Cleethorpes ran riot at the Forest Town Arena for a 3-0 win.
The Bulls manager had no complaints as the visitors could have had six or seven on another day.
“Cleethorpes are a good outfit. They put us on the back foot, we struggled to get out in the first half due to the weather, Ward said after the game.
“There were a couple of phases where we created the odd half-chance, but we also rode our luck a little bit.
“It’s a difficult one to take since we’ve been playing so well, but that’s football.
“They’re a mid-table to top side, so if we want to compete with those sorts of teams then we need to have a more consistent performance.”
Craig Disley scored from what was virtually the first chance of the game, tucking underneath Jason White after being fed through.
Cleethorpes deservedly found their second in peculiar circumstances, as a goalmouth scramble eventually allowed Oli Donald to acrobatically fire into an open net.
The Bulls were unlucky not to have halved the deficit in the second half when Theo Richardson brilliantly denied Charlie Dawes’ low effort, after the AFC Mansfield player had cut inwards from the right.
A sucker-punch blow followed only a minute later, when Julian Lawrence’s poor clearance gave room for Jon Oglesby to tap home from close range.
Ollie Fearon twice went close to a goal for the Bulls, who remain 14th, five points above the Evo-Stik League East Division drop zone.