WHAT Wrexham manager Denis Smith described as "five minutes of madness" cost his side the opportunity of securing only their third away win of the season at Field Mill on Saturday.
Two more goals from Matt Derbyshire, doubling his Dragons' tally just two matches into his loan spell from Blackburn Rovers, should have been enough for them to coast to a third successive league victory.
But defender Danny Williams marred an otherwise fine performance by conceding a needless penalty, which rejuvenated both the home side and their supporters, and leading goalscorer Richie Barker, who had converted the spot-kick, was on the mark again four minutes later to head home the equaliser.
From that point on, and with 20 minutes still to go, the sizeable away following must have feared the worst, but Wrexham managed to restore some semblance of organisation at the back and hung on for the consolation of extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to five matches.
The result left Smith feeling more disappointed than frustrated and he put a positive spin on what, overall, was another encouraging performance from his relatively young and inexperienced line-up.
"Our performances away from home this season have not been poor and I can't tell the players to go out to play badly and win," he said..
"What we've got to do is to continue to perform well and make sure we win. "It was obviously disappointing not to get three points today, but we are unbeaten this month and hopefully we'll continue to stay unbeaten for as long as possible."
Wrexham, who in their two previous games had successfully and comfortably defended a two-goal advantage, were undone by Mansfield substitutes Simon Brown and Gus Uhlenbeek after manager Peter Shirtliff switched from 4-4-2 to match Wrexham's 3-5-2 system. "I was in two minds before the game whether to match them up formationwise," the Stags' boss said afterwards..
"But I felt if we could get the ball wide and create an overload down the sides we could cause them problems.
"It didn't quite happen but, apart from when Wrexham hit the post with their first shot of the game, I can't remember too many others apart from their goals.
"But I'm not happy, full stop. "We conceded two hopelessly ridiculous goals and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb. To be fair to the boys they've done it.
"The effort has never been in question, it's concentration at times, application and trying to do the right things that we need.
"Nobody encourages them to play football more than myself but I was disappointed with the goals and that's why we are where we are in the table.
"Simon Brown came on and he showed a bit of spark, even though he is carrying a slight hernia problem.
"I thought he got the rest of them going, which is what they seemed to be waiting for instead of doing it themselves."
Although all four goals were crammed into 16 second-half minutes there was no shortage of entertainment throughout, both sides putting the emphasis on getting the ball forward at every opportunity on a surface that cut up badly and forced numerous errors.
Mansfield's veteran goalkeeper Kevin Pressman was an early victim of the treacherous pitch, badly slicing a sixth-minute clearance straight to Mark Jones, whose instant riposte from outside the penalty area was somewhat fortunately deflected for a corner.
But it was Wrexham keeper Mike Ingham who made the first save of the game, clutching a 10th-minute Barker header from a cross by Alex John Bapstiste, who had a solid match throughout.
Minutes later, he was clear on the right again and when Danny Williams could only half-block his cross the ball squirted to Danny Reet, who thumped a first-time effort over the bar when a little more composure might have been more productive.
The visitors, too, had their openings with defender Jon Olav Hjelde struggling at times to cope with the pace of Derbyshire, although he did well to shut out the Blackburn teenager following some neat build-up play from Dennis Lawrence and Sam Williams.
With neither side able to impose themselves, the ebb and flow was perfectly illustrated when Simon Spender came to the visitors' rescue with a fine penalty area tackle on Stephen Dawson as the Mansfield midfielder bore down on Ingham. Two minutes later the young Wrexham wing-back was at the opposite end of the field and desperately unlucky to see his first-time shot rebound from the inside of the post after Derbyshire had helped on an Andy Holt cross.
That near-miss was forgotten six minutes after the break when Wrexham went ahead thanks to a lapse of concentration by Jake Buxton.
Gathering a long punt upfield from Shaun Pejic, the defender woefully under-hit his back pass to Pressman and Derbyshire was able to nip in and go round the keeper before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Immediately from the restart it was Lawrence's turn to make a mistake, his weak clearance being charged down by Barker for Reet, whose shot was well-saved by Ingham, and within 10 minutes Wrexham doubled their advantage.
Pejic was again involved with a powerful header from the back but it was the quality of Sam Williams' first-time flick that gave Derbyshire the opportunity to run on and drive a firm shot under Pressman, much to the delight of the visiting Wrexham supporters behind the goal.
Their joy was short-lived, however, when Brown - who had been a 58th-minute replacement for Reet - was up-ended by Danny Williams, even though he was going away from Ingham's goal, and Barker sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
Within four minutes the sides were level as Uhlenbeek got the better of Andy Holt to deliver an inch-perfect cross for Barker to grab his 19th goal of the season with a firm header at the far post.
With 20 minutes still remaining, there were opportunities for both teams to win it but Derbyshire and Spender failed to work Pressman while Mansfield's best openings came when Lawrence horribly sliced a clearance just wide of Ingham's post and Hjelde steered a last-minute header too high from Callum Lloyd's corner.
* MAN OF THE MATCH ... Danny Williams
* Rash penalty-costing challenge apart, he had solid game
. MAGIC MOMENT...
* Simon Spender's volley that hit a post.
MANSFIELD TOWN : Pressman; Baptiste, Buxton, Hjelde, Wilson; Coke (Lloyd 79), D'Laryea, Dawson, Rundle (Uhlenbeek 63); Barker, Reet (Brown 58). Subs: White, Jacobs.
WREXHAM: Ingham; Pejic, D Williams, Lawrence; Spender, Crowell, Whitley, Mark Jones, Holt; S Williams, Derbyshire. Subs: Michael Jones, Mackin, Marc Williams, Mike Williams, Mackin.
BOOKED: Mark Jones.
REFEREE : Gary Lewis
NEXT MATCH: Northampton (h), Sat, 3pm