HAVING lost two games in succession for the first time since October, The Saddlers arrived at Huish Park in determined mood.
It was a bright start by Walsall who saw plenty of the early ball, particularly out on the left-hand side.
After Tom Bradshaw had fired into the side-netting, Chigozie Ugwu put in an inviting cross at the other end which flashed across the face of goal.
There was a talking to for Bradshaw by the referee after a clash with Stephen Kingsley that left the home player in need of lengthy treatment before being replaced.
A positive burst from Jordy Hiwula saw him pick up a loose ball before curling just over.
A slick passing move by The Saddlers ended with Hiwula brought down by Loach to win a penalty. Tom Bradshaw stepped up and after some delay, saw his penalty saved by the 'keeper who guessed the right way.
It wasn't long before Walsall took the lead when Andy Taylor found Hiwula and the former Yeovil loanee cut inside before slotting the ball underneath the 'keeper to make it 1-0.
With our tails up, Hiwula did well to pick out Sawyers who made room for a strike which Loach saved superbly as he pushed the ball away.
The Saddlers are well on top at this stage and Taylor's low cross from the by-line presents Baxendale with a grea chance which the 'keeper saves.
There were two chances in quick succession for Bradshaw as he firstly sees his strike blocked by Byron Webster and then almost finds a way through as Loach makes a brave save.
Debutant Loach made his mark again moments later when Sawyers found Hiwula whose curling strike was clawed away for a corner.
Walsall were well on top as the half came to a close. A stoppage time free-kick following a foul by Adam Chambers was easy for O'Donnell as we went in at the break one goal to the good.
The second period started with a tricky run from Baxendale that ended with him hitting the woodwork as the rebound was cleared by the home defence.
Some neat play from Flanagan and then Sawyers saw Hiwula receive the ball and use his pace to get into the area and fire wide of the target.
An excellent ball from Flanagan found Hiwula and he lifted his effort over the crossbar.
The best chance for the home side fell to Grant at the far post but he was thwarted by O'Donnell who made himself big to block.
Shortly afterwards Grant won a penalty when he was upended by Purkiss. Substitute, Adam Morgan, stepped up and saw O'Donnell make a great save.
There was a booking for Baxendale for diving on the edge of the area.
With 78 minutes on the clock, Baxendale was replaced by Ashley Grimes.
A low strike from Grimes took a wicked deflection as it was saved by Loach. The 'keeper then spilled a Sawyers' strike as Grimes kept the ball alive to find Flanagan whose effort is deflected wide.
At the other end, O'Donnell saved well to deny The Glovers on a couple of occasions, the second of which was a point-blank save from a towering Byron Webster header.
A late change saw Michael Cain enter the stage to replace Flanagan.
In stoppage time, a strike from Grimes was well kept out by Loach. Then the 'keeper miscued a clearance to Grimes whose ambitious effort from distance landed wide.
At the other end some sloppy play let in the home side but O'Donnell was alert to make the save.
It was to be the last action as The Saddlers ran out deserved 1-0 winners.