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Match Report: Walsall 1-1 Mansfield

9 February 2021

Walsall battled to a point as they stretched their unbeaten run to four against Mansfield Town.

Max Melbourne gave the Saddlers the lead on his debut before Ollie Clarke levelled for the Stags on a bitterly cold evening at the Banks’s Stadium

Darrell Clarke made two changes to the team that beat Port Vale on January 23rd.

New signing Max Melbourne made his Saddlers debut at left-back while Caolan Lavery came in up front as both replaced Zak Jules and Elijah Adebayo who left the club on Deadline Day.

Kick-off was brought forward by 15 minutes to 6.45pm with temperatures set to drop throughout the night.

The Saddlers made a bright start but it was the visitors who had the first clear cut opportunity of the game when Jamie Reid’s arrowed shot just crept wide of the post.

Mansfield were dealt a blow when George Lapslie was forced off with an injury after 12 minutes and was replaced by Ollie Clarke.

It was a closely contested half but it was Walsall who got their noses in front when Tyreik Wright’s free-kick was met by Melbourne at the far post who guided the ball into the net after 23 minutes.

The Stags responded well equalised eight minutes later when Reid and Jordan Bowery linked up beautifully before the ball was played to Ollie Clarke who rifled the ball into the goal.

Mansfield were buoyed by their leveller and were the team on top for the remainder of the half.

They had a great chance to take the lead when Bowery collected a long ball and fired in a powerful shot but Roberts did brilliantly to turn it behind, diving low to his left.

The Saddlers made a positive start to the second half and looked to get on the front foot.

Their first chance of the second period came on 53 minutes when Wright’s free-kick was headed wide by Lavery.

The Saddlers were dealt a blow on 63 minutes when Wright was forced off with an injury and replaced by Jack Nolan.

Clarke made a double substitution in the 77th minute when he introduced Frank Vincent and Osei Yaw for his Saddlers debut in place of Bates and Lavery.

The visitors had a good opportunity with 10 minutes to go as Bowery got in behind and but his shot was blocked by Roberts and then fell to Harry Charsley who fired wide.

The game became a bit scrappy towards the end and both sides had to settle for a point.

 

Roberts; White, Scarr, Sadler, Melbourne; Wright (Nolan 63’), Kinsella, Bates (Vincent 77’), McDonald; Lavery (Osei-Yaw 77’), Gordon
Subs: Rose, Norman, Osei Yaw, Cockerill-Mollett, Osadebe, Vincent


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