Salford City couldn’t find their final gear as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Mansfield Town.
Goals from Jordan Bowery and Davis Keillor-Dunn gave the visitors all three points despite an equaliser from Matt Smith in the first half.
The Ammies started the day in 13th, having strung together a five-match unbeaten run, with the memories of seven defeats in a row firmly behind them.
Neil Wood made two changes, with Declan John and Matty Lund taking the places of Kelly N’Mai and an injured Adrian Mariappa
Mansfield Town entered the game as one of only two unbeaten sides remaining in England’s top four leagues but had lost their previous three matches, all in cup competition.
It was a quiet start for both sides, the first chance coming the way of Matt Smith, whose header went well over the bar. Rhys Oates should have opened the scoring for the Stags, but did not get enough contact on the ball, his effort going wide.
The Nottinghamshire club kept their intensity up and took the lead when Jordan Bowery beat his man and fired a curling effort past Alex Cairns.
Salford quickly responded. Smith, named EFL League Two player of the month for October, eventually got the better of his marker, driving his header home to level the scores.
Poor marking left Davis Keillor-Dunn free in the box to restore Mansfield’s lead against the run of play on 37 minutes and kept their lead intact when keeper Christy Pym clawed Matty Lund’s shot off the goalline moments later.
Nigel Clough’s side went into the half in front and soaked up any Salford pressure after the restart.
It was a quiet second half, with Aden Flint and Louis Reed doing well to nullify Smith’s aerial ability.
The Ammies could not create enough clear-cut chances, with Pym easily claiming any shot that went his way.
Wood’s changes added a spark with 10 minutes to go, Conor McAleny’s effort parried away and cleared whilst Kelly Nmai put a header well over the net as the clock ticked down.
Salford put all their force behind it but could just not find what they needed to get back level, much to the delight of the over 1000 travelling Stags.
The loss means Salford fall to 15th in the League Two table, whilst Mansfield rise into the automatic spots in third.
The Ammies have a quick turnaround as they welcome Peterborough to Moor Lane in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday night.