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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Mansfield Town

17 February 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Mansfield Town

17 February 2024

Emmanuel Adegboyega marked his home and league debut by scoring the winner as Walsall overcame high-flying Mansfield Town at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

After a goalless first half, Jamille Matt opened the scoring on 47 minutes but Stephen Quinn cancelled his goal out just three minutes later.

It was to be the Saddlers’ day though as Adegboyega, a half time substitute, headed in what proved to be the winner on 65 minutes.

Mat Sadler made one change to the team that drew with Crawley Town in midweek.

Taylor Allen came into the starting XI at left centre-back in place of Donervon Daniels who was missing from the squad.

The hosts started brightly and had the first sight of goal when Jack Earing powered in a shot from the edge of the box but his effort was caught by Christy Pym.

Mansfield's first opportunity came after 16 minutes when Will Swan latched on to a ball over the top and arrowed in a shot but he just missed the target.

They came close again when Quinn’s diving header from close range just went wide as the visitors started to build momentum after Walsall’s good start.

The best chance of the half came after 30 minutes when Quinn’s low ball was met by Swan who tried to guide it home first time but Jackson Smith made an excellent save with his legs to deny him.

They came close again moments later when Aden Flint tried to bundle the ball in at the back post but Smith was in the way again.

Walsall also had their moments as Earing had another effort from distance stopped by Pym and the first half ended goalless.

The Saddlers were forced into a change at half time as Priestley Farquharson picked up an injury towards the end of the first half and was replaced by Adegboyega for his first appearance at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Sadler’s men started the second half superbly and opened the scoring just two minutes after the restart when Isaac Hutchinson’s delicious cross was headed in by Matt.

Walsall’s lead didn’t last long though as on 50 minutes, Stags substitute Hiram Boateng found Quinn with a neat pass and the Irishman slotted the ball home to level the contest.

The Saddlers reacted well to Mansfield’s leveller and regained their advantage when Adegboyega superbly headed Hutchinson’s corner into the back of the net.

The Stags put the Saddlers under late pressure and came mightily close to equalising when Lucas Akins flicked the ball goalwards from close range but Smith reacted unbelievably well to adjust and get a big hand to the ball.

That proved to be the last opportunity of the match and the Saddlers held on to claim a huge three points.

Smith (GK); Knowles, Okagbue, Farquharson (Adegboyega 45’), Allen, L. Gordon; Hutchinson, Comley, Earing (Stirk 90’); J. Gordon (Tierney 77’), Matt (Faal 89’)
Subs: Evans (GK), James-Taylor, Oteh

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