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

Match Report: Walsall 2 Mansfield Town 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Mansfield Town.
Walsall were looking to return to winning ways on Saturday afternoon as they welcomed inform title-chasers Mansfield Town to Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Winless in their latest five league games, the Saddlers were in desperate need of some points as they looked to avoid being dragged back towards the relegation places.

Mansfield began the game brightly, finding a way through the Walsall defences inside the opening minute, as George Maris picked out Will Swan, but the striker was ruled to be offside, so nothing would come of the move.

Walsall had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where Brandon Comley won the first corner of the match for his side, with an effort from range, which Ollie Clarke was forced to turn behind. Nothing would come of the flag-kick, or the one that followed moments later.

The Saddlers continued to press and were awarded a free-kick in a promising position in the eighth minute as Isaac Hutchinson was fouled by Baily Cargill. Hutchinson swung the ball into the area from the set-piece, with the ball being cleared by the Mansfield defences only as far as Jack Earing who was lurking at the edge of the area, but the midfielders effort on goal was easily saved by Town 'keeper, Christy Pym.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the twelfth minute, as Tom Knowles received attentions from the medical team following a collision with Stephen Quinn, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Mansfield almost found an opener in the sixteenth minute, as Swan was played through one-on-one with Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith, but the 'keeper was ultimately given nothing to do as the striker sent the ball wide.

The visiting side continued to test the Walsall defences as the match continued, going close again in the eighteenth minute, as Jordan Bowery found space to cross the ball in for Quinn, who was waiting at the back post, but the midfielders headed effort also failed to test Smith as it sailed wide of the mark.

Walsall found themselves with a chance to open the scoring at the other end in the twenty-fourth minute, as Liam Gordon crossed the ball in for Josh Gordon, but the Burton Albion loanee headed wide.

Things settled a little as the game continued, but Walsall went close again as we reached the half hour mark, as the ball fell kindly for Earing on the edge of the area, but the midfielders curling effort was easily saved by Pym.

Mansfield soon had the ball in the danger zone at the other end, with Quinn working a cross to the back post for Swan, but the striker was thwarted by Smith who got a leg to the ball to keep it out.

Town went close again following the corner which resulted, as Maris crossed the ball in for Aden Flint, who looked to scramble the ball over the line but was also thwarted by the Walsall shot-stopper.

Ollie Clarke became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Comley in the thirty-seventh minute.

The visitors continued to test the Walsall defences as the match continued, with Quinn working the ball to Cargill in the thirty-ninth minute; the defender forcing another save from Smith, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Town went close again in the forty-third minute, as Swan beat Priestley Farquharson, creating chance to shoot, but his curling effort sailed narrowly wide of the target. The move brought a brief halt to proceedings though, as the Walsall man stayed down following the challenge. Fortunately for the Saddlers, the defender was eventually able to re-join the action.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.


It was determined that Priestley Farquharson would be unable to continue following the break, and he sat out the second-half, with Emmanuel Adegboyega taking his place. Mansfield also chose to make a change to their line-up ahead of the second forty-five, as Ollie Clarke was replaced by Hiram Boateng.

The Saddlers began the second-half brightly, with Hutchinson delivering a cross into the box for Jamille Matt just two minutes in, with the striker heading home from close range to open the scoring.

Walsall's lead was short lived, as the recently introduced Boateng crossed the ball into the area for Quinn, who powered home from close range in the fiftieth minute.

The home side almost restored their earlier lead in the fifty-third minute, as Hutchinson delivered a cross onto the head of Josh Gordon, but the striker nodded narrowly wide.

The end-to-end action continued, but both sides defences worked hard to ensure there would be no further chances to change the scores, until Walsall won a corner in the sixty-fifth minute, which was swung into the area by Hutchinson for Adegboyega who rose well to head home, scoring on his league debut.

Mansfield were quick to work the ball back to the other end, as they looked to restore parity for a second time, but Bowery was unable to beat Smith with an effort from thirty-five yards out, with the 'keeper making the save at the second time of asking.

The Town 'keeper was tested at the other in the sixty-fifth minute, as the Gordon's looked to combine; Liam working the ball upfield before laying it off for Josh, who was ultimately denied by Pym.

Mansfield chose to make a double change to their line-up twenty minutes from time, with Will Swan and Stephen Quinn making way for Davis Keillor-Dunn and Aaron Lewis.

Things settled a little following that, with little action of note before Walsall made their second change of the afternoon in the seventy-seventh minute; Josh Gordon making way for Ross Tierney. Mansfield also took the opportunity to make further changes to their line-up, with George Maris and Baily Cargill departing in favour of Tom Nichols and Stephen McLaughlin.

Liam Gordon became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for time wasting in the seventy-ninth minute.

Walsall continued to seek goals as we entered the final ten minutes, with both Comley and Tierney seeing efforts on goal blocked.

Knowles joined those to see their name taken by the referee, as he was cautioned following a foul on Nichols in the eighty-fifth minute.

Mansfield looked to find a late equaliser as we entered the final four minutes of the game, with Keillor-Dunn forcing a fine save from Smith from twelve yards out.

Walsall made another change to their line-up in the eighty-ninth minute, as goalscorer, Jamille Matt made way for Mo Faal. Another Saddlers substitution followed just one minute later, as Jack Earing was replaced by Ryan Stirk.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Smith was again called into action, with the 'keeper making a superb save to deny Lucas Akins what looked to be a certain goal, from just six yards out, before Flint turned the ball wide.

Jordan Lowery saw his name added to the referee's notebook four minutes into those added, as he was shown the yellow card following a foul on Tierney.

That would be the final action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-one.

MATT (47')
QUINN (50')

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