Frustrated Mansfield failed by a whisker to return to winning ways after a run of narrow losses in the Midlands 3 East (North) division of the National League.
Taking on fellow mid-tablers Buxton at home, the blue-and-whites were looking to rebuild confidence and edged ahead 21-19 for the first tine in the game with only minutes remaining.
But then they conceded a penalty within kicking distance and, much to Mansfield’s heartbreak, the visitors successfully slotted it to pinch a 22-21 victory.
Head coach Wayne Robinson said: “I thought we played well for the most part, but we just couldn’t get any momentum going. We missed too many opportunities, and they were always going to hurt us ultimately.”
As has been the norm this season, Mansfield started slowly and conceded 12 easy points, including two tries, before settling into the game.
They pulled it back to 12-8 by half-time as Regan Hubbard kicked a penalty and Steve Davison went over in the corner for their first try after a lovely floating pass.
In the second half, a penalty by Taran Elms edged the hosts even closer, and after Buxton had surged 19-11 in front, Mansfield powered back thanks to a terrific, converted try by Nathan Jones, who beat five defenders.