On a damp and freezing October afternoon, Walsall was attempting to reverse a miserable run of form against opponents who were only just above them at the wrong end of the table. The visitors had some familiar faces in their ranks; ex-Walsall players Mal Benning, Matt Preston and of course, Andy Cook. A soaking wet crowd of just over 4000 was on hand to watch.....let the games begin.
Walsall started on the front foot and from an early corner Callum Cockerill-Mollett and Kory Roberts came close to the opener.
The lively Josh Gordon was looking dangerous but was forced off after a couple of heavy challenges. He was replaced by Elijah Adebayo in the 25th minute. Then against the run of play...
GOAL! In the 30th minute, our old friend, Cook, predictably nodded his new team in front, much to the delight of the 800 or so away fans.
The home team rallied and Gaffney should have equalised after being set up Adebayo. Then, just as it looked like the Saddlers would go in at half-time behind......
GOAL! A cracking free-kick from Rory Holden was glanced home by Adebayo to send the teams in level at the break. All to play for in the second half.
Walsall again started the half well. Adebayo had a decent effort well saved and then Gaffney, after good work from Kinsella, could and should have put Walsall in front.
Immediately after that missed chance, Mansfield broke up field and......
GOAL! Alex MacDonald tucked home in front of the jubilant Stags’ fans in the 68th minute.
In fact, it could have got worse for the Saddlers shortly after but Rose pulled off an unbelievable close range save to keep us in the game.
Walsall huffed and puffed for an equaliser but the full-time whistle brought the curtain down on another disappointing afternoon at The Banks’s and the fifth defeat on the bounce.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times....UTS!!