HAVING received a bye in the first round, The Saddlers got our first taste of Johnstone's Paint Trophy action with a home tie against Staffordshire rivals, Port Vale in Round Two.
There was an early scare for Walsall as Richard Duffy's effort was saved by Karl Darlow and the resulting corner was dealt with.
In the next attack, Ashley Vincent and Tom Pope linked up well for the latter to get in a stinging effort that Darlow pushed out.
The opening exchanges saw the visitors on top and seeing plenty of the ball in dangerous positions.
A positive run from Will Grigg ended with John McCombe bringing him down to give Walsall a free-kick in a promising position in the 18th minute. Andy Taylor's effort cannoned into the defensive wall before being cleared as Ashley Hemmings chased the rebound.
The resulting throw-in was returned to Richard Taundry who crossed only for Hemmings to head over.
After Jamie Paterson's strike from distance wasn't gathered cleanly by the debutant 'keeper, Flo Cuvelier was brought down in the area by Ryan Burge for a 25th minute penalty that Cuvelier himself dispatched with ease to make it 1-0.
With half-time approaching, a neat move from Walsall ended with Grigg seeing his effort deflected just wide of the target.
Some excellent defending by Paul Downing denied The Valiants as they looked to get back on level terms in stoppage time at the end of the half. Downing threw himself in front of Pope's strike to make a timely intervention.
HALF-TIME: Walsall 1 Port Vale 0
The Saddlers doubled our advantage within two minutes of the restart when Will Grigg did well to win the ball on the left of the area before cutting in from the by-line and firing home to make it 2-0.
The visitors reduced the arrears two minutes later when Burge fired the ball beyond Darlow.
Walsall won a free-kick right on the edge of the area which Paterson curled towards the top corner only for Sam Johnson to make a fine save as he tipped the ball over.
The lively start to the half continued when Ben Williamson found space inside the area only to see Darlow alert to block his effort. Moments later a shooting chance opened up for Hemmings at the other end which again produced a smart stop from Johnson.
Vale were back on level terms just past the hour when Tom Pope held off Downing before getting in a low strike that found its way beyond Darlow.
Some good battling by Cuvelier saw him make progress into the area before winning a corner that was headed clear.
Richard Taundry saw yellow for a robust challenge in the 70th minute that gave Vale a free-kick out wide which was hammered into the defensive wall. The next attack saw Williamson lift the ball over as he raced through.
There was a double change by Dean Smith as Febian Brandy replaced Hemmings and Jake Jones came on for James Baxendale. Immediately after the changes, Walsall went close from a couple of corners in quick succession.
With 85 minutes on the clock, George Bowerman replaced Will Grigg.
There was a let-off for Walsall at the start of stoppage time when a ball in from the left found Louis Dodds in space at the far post but his low effort hit the base of the post. As Vale pressed, Darlow saved from Dodds.
FULL-TIME: Walsall 2 Port Vale 2
And so we go straight to penalties...
WALSALL - BOWERMAN - 1-0
PORT VALE - MYRIE-WILLIAMS - 1-1
WALSALL - PATERSON - MISSED - 1-1
PORT VALE - SHUKER - SAVED - 1-1
WALSALL - A. TAYLOR 2-1
PORT VALE - BURGE - SAVED - 2-1
WALSALL - CUVELIER - SAVED - 2-1
PORT VALE - POPE - 2-2
WALSALL - FEATHERSTONE - SAVED - 2-2
PORT VALE - DAVIS - MISSED - 2-2
WALSALL - TAUNDRY - MISSED - 2-2
PORT VALE - TAYLOR - SAVED - 2-2
WALSALL - BRANDY - MISSED - 2-2
PORT VALE - DODDS - SAVED - 2-2
WALSALL - BUTLER - 3-2
PORT VALE - LLOYD - 3-3
WALSALL - DOWNING - 4-3
PORT VALE - YATES - 4-4
WALSALL - J. JONES - 5-4
PORT VALE - McCOMBE - 5-5
WALSALL - DARLOW - SAVED - 5-5
PORT VALE - JOHNSON - 5-6
Port Vale go through...
WALSALL: Darlow, Taundry, Butler, Featherstone, Cuvelier, Grigg (Bowerman), Paterson, Hemmings (Brandy), Downing, Baxendale (J. Jones), A. Taylor.