Match Report: Mansfield Town 2 Walsall 1 Match Report: Mansfield Town 2 Walsall 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Mansfield Town 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Mansfield Town.
Walsall went in search of their first win in three league games as they made the trip to the One Call Stadium where they were to take on Nigel Clough's undefeated Mansfield Town.

After seeing their hopes of returning to winning ways against Crawley Town dashed in second-half injury time, the Saddlers were hoping to become the first team to lay a glove on the Stags in the league so far this season.

Mansfield began the game brightly, with Jordan Bowery working the ball to Ollie Clarke just four minutes into the contest, though nothing would come of the opportunity as the midfielders early effort on goal was well blocked by the Walsall defences.

Walsall showed signs of promise as the game continued, but it was their hosts who looked the more likely to score, as thirteen minutes in, Bowery picked out Davis Keillor-Dunn, whose low strike from just outside the box was easily saved by Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans.

Mansfield took the lead in the sixteenth minute, as Donervon Daniels turned the ball out of play, gifting the hosts a corner. George Maris swung the ball into the area from the flag-kick, with Aden Flint seeing a headed effort saved by Evans, though the ball was cleared only as far as Keillor-Dunn, who also saw a shot saved by Evans, before Flint fired another effort in from the rebound, finding the target from close range.

The hosts continued to press, winning another corner in the twenty-first minute, as David Okagbue turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the Saddlers cleared the danger.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the twenty-eighth minute, allowing Lucas Akins to receive attention from the medical staff, but it was soon determined that he would be unable to play any further part in the match, and James Gale was brought on in his place.

Mansfield continued to see much of the ball as play continued, though they were unable to create much to trouble the Saddlers defences, although, thirty-five minutes in, a low ball into the area from Calum MacDonald was deflected into the path of Maris by Joe Riley, allowing the number ten chance to shoot, but the ball was deflected behind, and the resulting corner came to nothing.

The hosts continued to press, with Keillor-Dunn curling an effort goal-wards in the thirty-seventh minute, forcing Evans to make a save to deny him.

Lewis Brunt became the first player to see yellow, in the thirty-eighth minute, as he was cautioned for a foul on Danny Johnson.

Tom Knowles joined Brunt in the referee's notebook just two minutes later, as a foul on Gale saw the Walsall man booked.

The resulting free-kick saw MacDonald cross the ball in for Flint, but the Mansfield captain headed the ball high and wide of the target.

Five additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, Johnson saw a curling effort from the edge of the area sail narrowly wide of the upright.

Keillor-Dunn saw an effort blocked at the other end a few minutes later, but there was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Mansfield leading by one-goal-to-nil.


Mansfield opted to make their second change of the afternoon ahead of the restart, with Lewis Brunt sitting out the second-half, as Baily Cargill took his place. 
The hosts began the second-half brightly, with Keillor-Dunn working the ball to Aaron Lewis, just two minutes in, but the midfielder was unable to keep his effort on target, sending the ball sailing over the crossbar.

Walsall levelled the scores in the fifty-second minute, as Knowles crossed a low ball in towards the back post, where Ryan Stirk was on hand to fire past Town 'keeper, Christy Pym, from close range, to secure his second goal of the season.

The Saddlers were presented with a chance to take the lead just six minutes later, winning a free-kick in a promising position as MacDonald fouled Knowles.

Ross Tierney floated the ball into the box, where it was cleared by a Mansfield man, only as far as Isaac Hutchinson, but the midfielders strike from twenty yards out missed the target.

Brandon Comley was added to the referee's notebook in the fifty-ninth minute, as he was cautioned for a foul on Keillor-Dunn.

James Gale joined Comley on a caution just one minute later, as he was booked for simulation, after going down inside the area.

The visiting side went close again as we reached the hour mark, as Stirk picked up the ball and drove forwards, but his effort from distance sailed over the crossbar.

With sixty-three minutes on the clock, Town opted to introduce a third substitute, with George Maris making way for Will Swan.

Walsall continued to look the brighter of the two sides as the match continued, but it was Mansfield who found the target, as the recently introduced Swan crossed a low ball into the box for Jordan Bowery, who fired home to restore his sides earlier lead, with seventy-one minutes on the clock.

The Saddlers looked to respond quickly to falling behind, with Stirk playing in Johnson just one minute after the Stags had scored, but Bowery was on hand to prevent the restoring of parity, and the resulting corner came to nothing.

The visiting side chose to make their first change of the afternoon in the seventy-seventh minute, as Isaac Hutchinson made way for Douglas James-Taylor.

Ollie Clarke looked to extend his sides lead in the seventy-ninth minute, but his low strike sailed narrowly wide from distance. That would be his final involvement in the game, as he was replaced moments later by Hiram Boateng.

Just three minutes later, Walsall opted to make their second change of the game, as Ryan Stirk saw his place taken by Jamille Matt.

The hosts went close to extending their lead in the eighty-fourth minute, as Keillor-Dunn looked to find the bottom corner, but Evans was alert to the danger and got down low to make the save.

Hiram Boateng joined those playing on a caution in the eighty-sixth minute, as he was booked for a foul on Tierney.

Mansfield continued to press, with Swan driving towards the box in the eighty-seventh minute, before passing to Boateng, who had space to shoot, but fortunately for the Saddlers, Daniels was well positioned to block the effort.

Walsall made a third change to their line-up, in the eighty-eighth minute, as Tom Knowles was replaced by Taylor Allen.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, but there was little further action of note and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Mansfield winning by two-goals-to-one.

FLINT (17')
BOWERY (71')
STIRK (52')

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