Second-half goals from Alfie Potter and Lee Angol left Wanderers empty-handed after Adebayo Akinfenwa had opened the scoring in the final game of 2017.
Akinfenwa sent a bullet header past Bobby Olejnik after only six minutes to make the breakthrough from Dominic Gape’s expert delivery, and the Blues should have been further ahead at the break but were ultimately made to pay for missed chances.
Alfie Potter stroked home an equaliser in the second half before Lee Angol converted the winner, not long after surviving a potential second yellow card for a foul on Dan Scarr.
And Evans would have no doubt been sick to see Adebayo Akinfenwa – a man he’d singled out in his pre-match press conference – break the deadlock with just six minutes on the clock. Dominic Gape did superbly to beat his man down the right and deliver a cross which sat beautifully for Akinfenwa to crash home a header from close range, giving his markers and the keeper no chance.
And it could’ve been two. Mansfield were rattled, and Akinfenwa again found space to meet Joe Jacobson’s inswinging corner with a bullet header which deflected and was then smartly tipped past the post by Bobby Olejnik.
The Stags were dealt a further blow when top scorer Danny Rose was forced off through injury and, as they waited to make a change, Nathan Tyson skipped into the box but delivered a low cross which was either just in front of just behind the two onrushing attackers.
Zander Diamond also needed to be brought off on 18 minutes, with Lee Angol and Mal Benning taking to the field as the visitors reshuffled to a four-man defence.
But the changes seemed to lift Mansfield who began to get a foothold of the game and went direct to threaten the Chairboys’ box, though Scott Brown and his defence were equal to the deliveries that ensued.
A half-chance arrived for Wycombe when they worked the ball well into a crossing opportunity and Paris Cowan-Hall found the head of Eze, whose knockdown was turned goalwards by Nathan Tyson but with not enough power to trouble the keeper.
Then Tyson’s cross looked destined for the head of Akinfenwa before Rhys Bennett jumped in front of him and caused enough of a distraction to force the Wanderers striker to mis-time his effort, which flew over.
Tyson was involved again, beating the offside trap before teeing up Cowan-Hall for a side-footed shot which went wide of the target, before Scott Brown did well to grab a dangerous bouncing ball inside the box after Angol threatened.
Action swung to the other end and Wanderers so nearly had a two-goal lead to take into the interval, when Akinfenwa’s low shot struck the post and bounced to Tyson, whose first-time shot from a tight angle was well tipped over by Olejnik.
And from the resulting corner, Akinfenwa headed wide to ensure Mansfield’s deficit was just a slender one at the break.
Wycombe made a change of their own at half-time with Craig Mackail-Smith replacing the injured Cowan-Hall, and the first chance arrived for Mansfield when Mal Benning’s sublime through-ball freed CJ Hamilton in the box. He cut it back for Lee Angol but as the striker prepared to pull the trigger, Scott Brown raced from his line and threw himself at Angol’s feet to block the shot.
However, there was little he could do about the equaliser on 51 minutes. A deep free-kick bounced kindly into the path of Alfie Potter, who was able to pick his spot and drive home – the first second-half goal Wycombe had conceded at home for over two months.
Ebere Eze fired wide at the other end after Dan Scarr flicked on Dom Gape’s free-kick, before Angol blazed over after a Stags counter-attack came to nothing.
Mal Benning swerved one wide for Mansfield from distance, before Brown came to the rescue again, denying Angol after the striker found himself in a seemingly-offside position but couldn’t beat the keeper.
Benning then entered the referee’s notebook for a foul on Luke O’Nien, and Sido Jombati followed soon after as he and Hamilton pinned each other to the floor by the corner flag.
Lee Angol then somehow survived a second yellow card for dragging back Dan Scarr by the throat, receiving a talking to instead, though Rhys Bennett was cautioned moments later as the game developed a real edge.
Alex MacDonald then followed, tugging back Mackail-Smith as the striker raced past him on halfway, before Matt Bloomfield replaced Ebere Eze on 74 minutes.
Steve Evans followed suit, bringing on Omari Sterling-James for Kane Hemmings, and there was inevitability about the Stags’ second goal when Angol flicked home a low cross from the left with 10 minutes remaining.
Dan Scarr sent a header goalwards from Nathan Tyson’s cross as Wanderers looked for a leveller, but Olejnik was able to hold comfortably, while Omari Sterling-James collected Mansfield’s fifth yellow card for a foul.
Substitute Nick Freeman’s cross-shot almost crept in but Olejnik tipped it over the bar as the clock ticked 90, and from the resulting corner, referee Sarginson waved away strong appeals for a handball in a scramble that ensued.
Scott Brown went forward in a bid to snatch something from a late corner but the Stags held on for an away win – Wanderers’ first home loss since mid-September – though the opportunity to bounce back arrives in just two days’ time at Forest Green.
Attendance: 4,227 (299 from Mansfield)
Winning 50/50 Draw Numbers
Blue £1: 19870 (Prize: £652.00)
Orange £2: 32359 (Prize: £104.00)