Walsall suffered a narrow defeat as Will Swan scored the decisive goal late in the second half to earn Mansfield Town all three points.
George Lapslie opened the scoring before Liam Bennett drew Walsall level with his first professional goal but it wasn’t enough to see the Saddlers come away with a result despite a battling display.
Michael Flynn made two changes to the team that started last weekend’s victory over AFC Wimbledon.
Tom Knowles came in for the ineligible Danny Johnson while Peter Clarke replaced Donervon Daniels who was missing through illness.
The first chance of the game fell Mansfield’s way after nine minutes and they came close to opening the scoring. Jordan Bowery cut in on his left foot and let fly with a shot that rattled the crossbar.
Mansfield’s early pressure forced a goal on 15 minutes when a ball to the back post was met by Stephen Quinn who cut it back to Lapslie and the midfielder lashed the ball home from close range.
The Saddlers came close to an equaliser on 28 minutes when Bennett found Taylor Allen with a defence-splitting cross-field pass and the left wing-back was in behind. His effort was blocked but the ball fell kindly to Isaac Hutchinson who arrowed in a low shot but Christy Pym did well to turn it behind.
Walsall got back on level terms 10 minutes before half time when Bennett unleashed a thunderous strike that found the top corner of the net to open his account for the Saddlers in some style.
It was an entertaining opening 45 minutes at the One Call Stadium as the two teams went in level at the interval.
Walsall were dealt a blow in the second half when Knowles was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Andy Williams.
The second half was closely contested but there was little in terms of goal-mouth action.
The first clear cut chance of the second period came after 82 minutes and delivered the third goal of the match as Swan climbed highest to meet Akins’ ball and he towered in a header to restore Mansfield’s lead.
Flynn reacted and made a triple change as he introduced Danny Cashman, Timmy Abraham and Liam Gordon. Maddox had also replaced Hutchinson moments before Mansfield’s second goal.
Walsall pushed as they looked to find a late equaliser but the Stags held firm and claimed all three points.
Evans; Bennett, White, P. Clarke (Gordon 86'), Monthé, Allen; Comley (Cashman 86'), Kinsella, Hutchinson (Maddox 81’); Knowles (Williams 68’), James-Taylor (Abraham 86')
Subs: Mukuna, Maher