Max Melbourne’s debut goal was cancelled out by Ollie Clarke’s equaliser after a fabulous counter-attack from the Stags which saw the points shared between the two sides at the Banks’s Stadium.
The first chance of the half came for Mansfield Town. George Lapslie drove forward towards the Walsall goal as the amber and blues looked to get an early goal. The midfielder played a lovely ball towards Jamie Reid with the striker dragging his shot wide of the goal.
Lapslie was forced off the field in the 13th minute. A stoppage in play was forced as Stags’ number 32 went down feeling his hamstring. He was subsequently replaced by skipper Clarke as he returned to the side after an injury of his own.
Walsall took the lead in the 24th minute. A free-kick from Tyreik Wright found Melbourne at the back-post with Walsall’s transfer deadline day signing scoring a goal on his debut.
Seven minutes later and the Stags were level. Fantastic play between the two forwards, Reid and Jordan Bowery, saw the latter square the ball to Clarke with the midfielder slotting it past Liam Roberts.
Mansfield continued to apply the pressure in search of a second goal and the lead in the match. The most notable chance came at the end of the first-half with Bowery stinging the palms of the Walsall goalkeeper after he was found with a beautiful pass from Clarke.
Half-Time: Walsall 1-1 Mansfield Town
The East Midlands side continued to search for the lead. Reid found Charsley who looked to poke the ball into the back of the net, but Roberts was able to make the save.
The Saddlers responded well with a chance of their own. Wright delivered another dangerous ball with Caolan Lavery able to get on it, but the striker’s header was wide of Aidan Stone’s goal.
In the dying embers of the encounter, Bowery was able to bring the ball down and fire it towards the Walsall goal. Roberts was able to make a save and Charlsey’s rebounded end wide of the target.
Full-Time: Walsall 1-1 Mansfield Town
Man of the Match: Ollie Clarke
The skipper was forced to come on in the 13th minute after George Lapslie was forced off the field of play due to a hamstring injury which will keep the midfielder out for four weeks.
Clarke coped tremendously working tirelessly for the team and got himself on the scoresheet in the 31st minute from a Jordan Bowery assist.
With the midfielder now back, he will look to be a permanent mainstay now Lapslie has picked up an injury and fill the gaps that the tenacious and hard-working 23-year-old gives to the team.