Alex MacDonald’s first goal of the season secured a superb 2-1 win for Mansfield Town at Walsall today.
And earlier in the game Andy Cook also netted to haunt his former club as Stags picked up their first win at the Banks’s Stadium in 25 years.
Cook opened the scoring at Walsall, where he plied his trade before joining the Stags in June, before Elijah Adebayo levelled proceedings in first half stoppage time.
But MacDonald was the hero after the break as Stags bounced straight back from their midweek home defeat by Salford City.
Otis Khan shone brightly on the day for the visitors, though Conrad Logan also pulled off some crucial saves.
Boss John Dempster named an unchanged side and Stags started brightly with Nicky Maynard denied at the front post by Saddlers’ shot-stopper Jack Rose.
Down the other end, Conrad Logan produced a fine stop of his own to keep out Rory Gaffney.
Dempster’s charges took the lead on the half-hour mark when Khan’s cross left Cook a easy header to put the visitors ahead.
The Stags had chances to double their tally before the break.
Mal Benning struck wide, before Cook also failed to find the target on the turn.
But Walsall hit back on the stroke of the break as Adebayo restored parity by heading home from point-blank range.
After the break Logan needed to have his wits about him to deny Adebayo a second.
Logan once again made a fine stop to keep the game level by stopping Gaffney in his tracks.
And Mansfield turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye with MacDonald finishing with a superb volley.
Adebayo nodded Danny Guthrie’s inviting free-kick just over the bar.
But the Stags could have put the game to bed with presentable chances late on as Rose somehow kept Cook’s deflection header out with 10 minutes to go, before athletically tipping Benning’s stinging strike past the post.
WALSALL: Rose, Norman, Roberts, Scarr, Cockerill-Mollett, Holden, Sinclair, Bates (Guthrie, 63), Kinsella, Gordon (Adebayo, 26), Gaffney. Unused subs: Roberts, Hardy, Facey, McDonald, Liddle.
MANSFIELD: Logan, Gordon, Pearce (Preston, 59), Sweeney, Benning, MacDonald, Shaughnessy, Khan, Bishop, Cook (Afolayan, 90), Maynard (Hamilton, 87). Unused subs: Olejnik, Knowles, Smith, Tomlinson.
REFEREE: Andy Haines.
ATTENDANCE: 4,521 (877 away).