A controversial finale in which they were reduced to 13 men cost Mansfield dear in a thrilling match at Buxton in the Midlands 3 East (North) division of the National League.
Mansfield were trailing by just one point, 25-24, in the final quarter and piling on the pressure when they were given their second yellow card of the game.
Much to their chagrin, they received another two minutes later, making their task virtually impossible, and they couldn’t get add to the final scoreline.
It all left head coach Wayne Robinson bemused by some of the officiating decisions, although he also knew the blue-and-whites had missed a golden chance of victory, having led 19-6 at half-time.
He said: “Although we were reduced in numbers at a crucial time, we had control of the game for long periods and should have made more of our opportunities.”
After Buxton had taken the lead with a 17th minute penalty, Mansfield replied with tries from Joe Ducker and man-of-the-match Harry Brough. And after another penalty for the hosts, Adam Rowbottom scored a third try.
Buxton launched their fightback in the second period with three tries, although John Ross Ward also crossed the line for the visitors.