Mansfield leave it late to see off stubborn Walsall
A late winner from substitute Will Swan preserved promotion-chasing Mansfield’s unbeaten home record as they edged out battling Walsall 2-1.
The Stags created some fine early chances, with Jordan Bowery curling a 20-yard effort against the bar from George Lapslie’s lay-off after 10 minutes.
So it was no surprise when they took the lead 15 minutes later as Stephen Quinn nodded down Elliott Hewitt’s excellent cross from the right byline and Lapslie swivelled to bury a low finish from seven yards.
Christy Pym had his first save to make after 28 minutes as he got down to his right to turn away Isaac Hutchinson’s follow-up after Hewitt had blocked Taylor Allen’s initial shot.
But in the 35th minute Walsall drew level when Liam Bennett was sent into space on the right and caught Pym napping with a powerful, rising finish at his near post, with the keeper expecting a cross.
A poor second half saw neither keeper troubled and the game was heading for a draw until the 82nd minute when Lucas Akins crossed from the left and Swan got up to bury a close-range header past Owen Evans.