Mansfield’s automatic promotion hopes were dealt a dramatic blow as they slipped to an action-packed 3-2 defeat against play-off outsiders Oldham at Boundary Park.
Two goals and an assist from Gevaro Nepomuceno saw the home side rewarded for their attacking football as they inflicted a first defeat in five games for the visitors.
Oldham led after 29 minutes when Mohamed Maouche played a perfect ball into the penalty area and Nepomuceno slotted home from 12 yards.
After Mansfield wasted openings, Nepomuceno turned provider after 56 minutes as his shot was blocked on the six-yard line and Maouche made it 2-0 from the loose ball.
Mansfield grabbed a lifeline on the hour mark when Jacob Mellis teed up Tyler Walker to finish through the legs of goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.
However, Oldham struck again seven minutes later as Nepomuceno pounced on a weak clearance and slammed superbly into the top corner.
Latics nerves were jangling after Callum Lang missed a clear chance to make it four and Neal Bishop reduced the deficit for Mansfield in the 76th minute, squeezing his shot inside the post from 18 yards.
But the hosts survived a frantic finale which saw the Stags have a goal ruled out in stoppage time when Danny Rose was ruled offside.