Super sub Tyler Walker was the hero as Mansfield kicked off their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a 2-1 victory at 10-man Lincoln City tonight.
Calum Butcher scored one and created the other as the Stags came from behind after ex-Stag Matt Rhead’s opener.
Substitute Michael O’Connor was sent off just 15 minutes after coming on for an altercation with match-winner Walker.
Manager David Flitcroft made wholesale changes from the side that broke a run of three league draws on the bounce on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Conrad Logan replaced Bobby Olejnik, whilst young gun Lewis Gibbens, Mal Benning, Will Atkinson, Calum Butcher, Timi Max Elsnik, and Craig Davies were all handed starts amid seven changes.
There was a fast start at Sincil Bank with both sides scoring in the opening eight minutes.
The shellshocked Stags were behind after just four minutes as the in-form Imps took the lead.
Rhead headed home an easy opener after Harry Anderson found the hosts’ skipper inside the Stags’ box.
But Flitcroft’s charges levelled proceedings just two minutes later.
Butcher was on hand to take advantage of an unfortunate Adam Crookes slip in the hosts’ backline to coolly finish past Sam Slocombe.
Recalled Logan pulled off a stunning save to keep the two sides level by palming Shay McCartan’s strike after the striker raced through on goal.
Butcher came close to doubling his tally on the stroke of the break after rounding Slocombe, only for Crookes to produce a last-ditch block on the line.
A quiet second half sprung into life with 20 minutes left after Flitcroft made a double change.
And it worked wonders for the Stags as Walker bagged the winner with his first touch after getting on the end of Butcher’s flick to fire home his sixth goal of the season.
Walker also fired wide minutes later after latching on to another Butcher ball.
The Stags are back in EFL Trophy action in October at home to Wolves U21s.
Lincoln: Slocombe, Gordon, Toffolo, Bostwick (O’Connor, 80), Crookes, Chapman, McCartan, Luque (McCombe, 80), Rhead, Mensah (Andrade, 67), Anderson. Unused subs: Smith, Adebayo-Smith, Frecklington, Akinde.
Mansfield: Logan, White, Preston, Gibbens, Benning, MacDonald, Atkinson, Butcher, Elsnik, Davies (Walker, 70), Rose (Hamilton, 70). Unused subs: Olejnik, Law, Bishop, Graham, Khan.
Referee: Ross Joyce.
Attendance: 4,205 (260 away).