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Emmanuel Adegboyega scores Walsall winner on debut to defeat Mansfield

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024

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Mansfield missed the chance to go top of Sky Bet League Two as Emmanuel Adegboyega scored on his Football League debut to earn Walsall a 2-1 win.

The Stags should have been out of sight by half-time with Will Swan the chief culprit.

He steered Lucas Akins’ pass wide when clean through, was foiled by a fine Jackson Smith save as he tried to sweep home Stephen Quinn’s low cross and curled another big chance wide from 15 yards.

Quinn also spurned a free header, while the Stags were convinced Aden Flint’s hooked far-post effort had crossed the line but their appeals fell on deaf ears.

Walsall went ahead after 47 minutes as Jamille Matt nodded in Isaac Hutchinson’s teasing cross, but Mansfield levelled within three minutes as Hiram Boateng freed Quinn to rifle beneath Smith.

However, Norwich loanee Adegboyega flashed home a near-post header from Hutchinson’s 65th-minute corner to put Walsall back ahead.

Smith produced a stunning late save to preserve the points, adjusting in mid-air to thwart Akins’ instinctive flick and keep Mansfield off the top despite leaders Stockport losing 4-0 at Tranmere.

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