James Hardy scored a late equaliser on his English Football League debut to earn Walsall a 1-1 draw at home to Forest Green.
Hardy, a summer signing from AFC Fylde, hooked home from close range in the 86th minute as Rovers appealed in vain for offside after Josh Gordon’s overhead kick came back off a post.
A point was the least Walsall deserved, having dominated the game, only to be denied by several fine saves from visiting goalkeeper Lewis Thomas.
After Gordon wasted a good early chance for the Saddlers by scuffing wide from 15 yards, Thomas tipped over Cameron Norman’s 25-yard free-kick and superbly foiled Liam Kinsella’s deflected effort from outside the penalty box.
Forest Green took the lead against the run of play in first-half stoppage time as James Clarke’s error in trying to shepherd a ball out and then hauling down Aaron Collins was punished by Joseph Mills’ cool penalty.
After the break, Thomas made another fine stop to deny Hardy, who also blazed over from 15 yards, but the 23-year-old made no mistake late on to earn his side a point.
Report supplied by PA Media.