Mansfield Town boss John Dempster slammed his side’s second half capitulation as ‘scandalous’ in tonight’s 3-2 home defeat by Leyton Orient.
Two Danny Rose penalties had Mansfield in command at the break.
But when Leyton Orient went up a gear for the last half-hour Stags failed to switch up with them and, after the pain of seeing ex-Stag Lee Angol net his first goal in almost a year to level 12 minutes from time, there was stoppage time heartache to come as Louis Dennis stole a 96th minute winner for the Conference champions.
“To concede three goals in the second half and walk in without a point is scandalous,” said Dempster.
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“All the good things we did on Saturday we did poorly tonight in the second half – leadership and game management were severely lacking.
“There was a lack of leadership all over the pitch. We have some experienced players out there and they know they can do better.
“Me and my staff will look at ourselves and I expect my players to look at themselves.”
It had all started off so well and the manager said: “I thought we were good first half, though there was room for improvement.
“We spoke about the third goal at half-time and we had a couple of opportunities early in the second half we could have been more ruthless with to completely kill the game off.
“If we couldn’t score a third the plan was to walk in with a clean sheet first and foremost.
“Worst case scenario was that we’d concede a goal but still get all three points. Instead we conceded three which killed us.
“Orient throw the kitchen sink at us which you’d expect being 2-0 down. I expect the players we have in that starting XI to soak up the pressure.
“We started the second half well, then suddenly we looked weak and powderpuff. We can do a lot better.”