A late striker from Alex MacDonald meant the Sky Blues fell to their third league defeat at the Ricoh as the visitors leave with all three points.
The Mansfield midfielder beat Lee Burge from range in an afternoon full of chances for both sides.
Jordan Ponticelli and Marc McNulty both came close for Mark Robins' side but neither could find a breakthrough.
City remain sixth in SkyBet League Two, ahead of next weekend's trip to Lincoln.
Ponticelli, who kept his place in the side after a brace last weekend against Maidenhead, was presented with a golden opportunity to get a half full of chances underway. The teenager reacted faster than anyone as he raced to a lose ball in the area but saw his first effort saved well by Conrad Logan and his second fly high into the stand.
McNulty came close moments later. The former Portsmouth man tried his luck from range but his fierce shot struck the stanchion behind the goal before coming to rest on the roof of the net.
The Sky Blues had started by far the stronger, but the visitors came close to finding a breakthrough against the run of play. Kane Hemmings, on loan from Oxford United, chased down a long ball over the top and fired a low effort past Lee Burge but just wide of the far post.
Burge was callled upon again minutes later. Alex MacDonald, dangerous all afternoon, cut inside from the right wing and curled a dipping attempt over everybody in the area, but the City 'keeper tipped the ball behind in acrobatic fashion.
Danny Rose has scored eight times for the Stags in the league this season, and he nearly made it nine mid-way through the second half. The 23-year-old found space in the area to place his shot towards the far corner but was denied by the post.
McNulty felt that he should have had a penalty late on in the half. The forward raced through on goal befre being forced off the ball by Zander Diamond in the area but depsite his best appeals the referee waved for play to continue.
In the second half, MacDonald was presented with a good early chance for the visitors. The number seven waited for the ball to come to him before trying to find the top corner but the ball dipped just over the bar.
Mark Robins' side certainly had more of the ball in the second half but it was the Yellows who had the best of the chances. Hemmings again came close to finding the corner with a searching effort that looked until the very last second to be heading in.
Mansfield woud take the lead with just seven minutes left on the clock. MacDonald, the Yellows' star man on the afternooon, raced through unchallenged before sending a thunderbolt into the far corner. Burge managed to get his fingertips on the effort, but there was no saving it.
As the board went up for added-time Ponticelli had one last chance to level the clash, but his effort forced yet another strong save from Logan. The last one that he would have to make.
Attendance: 8,410 (1,565 Away)
Goals: MacDonald 83'
Yellows: McDonald, White, Grimmer, Rose, Jones, Hemmings.
Coventry City XI: Burge (GK), Grimmer (Davies '73), Willis, McDonald, Haynes, Kelly, Doyle, Vincenti (Biamou '63), Jones, McNulty, Ponticelli.
Subs: O'Brien (GK), Stokes, Shipley, Stevenson, Beavon
Mansfield Town: Logan (GK), Bennett, Diamond (C), MacDonald, Anderson (Atkinson 82'), White, Hunt, Hamilton, Hemmings (Digby 90'), Byrom, Rose (Butcher 90').
Subs: Olejnik (GK), Spencer, Potter, Sterling-James.