Elijah Adebayo’s third goal of the season was enough to see Walsall claim a crucial victory at Port Vale.
After an uneventful first half, the Saddlers made an electric start to the second half as the former Fulham striker found the net just a minute into the half and the Saddlers held on to claim a vital three points and become the first side to win at Vale Park in the league this season.
Darrell Clarke made four changes to the side that beat Chelsea Under 21s in midweek.
Stuart Sinclair returned from a lengthy lay-off while Elijah Adebayo, Mat Sadler and Josh Gordon all came back into the team.
Cockerill-Mollett missed out through injury while Rory Gaffney, Caolan Lavery and Rory Holden dropped to the bench.
Walsall made a bright start and had an early chance when Wes McDonald danced into the area and curled in a shot but it was deflected wide.
There was little goal-mouth action in the first half as both sides cancelled each other out.
The Saddlers made a dream start to the second half and took the lead in the opening minute when McDonald’s cross was met by Adebayo at the back post who side-footed the ball into the net.
Clarke made a change soon after as Holden replaced Danny Guthrie.
Vale responded well to falling behind and had a couple of chances through Tom Conlon and Nathan Smith.
Walsall defended superbly for the majority of the half and were looking to hit the hosts on the break.
With just under 10 minutes to go, Vale were dealt a blow as Conlon was sent off for what looked like an elbow on Josh Gordon.
Roberts; Faces, Scarr, Sadler, Clarke; Kinsella, Sinclair, Guthrie (Holden), McDonald, Gordon (Gaffney), Adebayo (Lavery).
Subs: Rose, Bates, Liddle, Norman.