THE SADDLERS made the long trip to Colchester United keen to get back into winning ways.
On a bright but chilly Essex day, a raid from the home side within the opening minute ended with Walsall surviving but James O'Connor cut his head in the build-up and had to be replaced by Paul Downing.
The next attack saw Szmodics break through but O'Donnell was on hand to make an important block.
Defensive hesitation between O'Donnell and Taylor ended with James Chambers having to clear in front of goal from Rhys Healey.
The first Saddlers' raid came on the half-hour when Adam Chambers was strong in the midfield to feed Cook who progressed into the area before hitting the woodwork. Moments later Cook was involved in the action as he put the ball in for Anthony Forde to head home the opener.
The goal brought a much-needed spark to the game as Walsall started to see more of the ball whilst never looking in too much danger at the back.
Chances were at a premium at either end as we went in to the break leading by a goal to nil.
It was a bright start to the second period for The Saddlers as a free-kick in a good position was hit goalwards by Forde but saved by Sam Walker.
Then a flick from Bradshaw was saved before a chance for The U's saw Szmodics find space inside the area but he fired over.
Real let-off for The Saddlers as the home side rattle the crossbar and then fail to take advantage of the rebound in front of goal as we manage to scramble the loose ball clear.
Shortly afterwards O'Donnell saved well as The U's built up a head of steam.
Some neat link-up play on the edge of the area ended with a low strike from Cook being dragged inches wide.
The second goal came with a classic counter attack as Cook found Bradshaw who fed Cain and he made no mistake to make it 2-0.
There was a change as James Baxendale replaced Cook.
Andy Taylor saw yellow for a foul out wide before being replaced shortly afterwards by Rico Henry.
The Saddlers played the game out well to chalk up a deserved 2-0 win.