FOUR-MIDABLETHE SADDLERS stepped out for this Bank Holiday Monday clash with our Midlands rivals, Coventry City.
There was a lively start to proceedings with a good tempo from Walsall as we saw plenty of the early ball. A low cross into the danger zone from Adam Chambers was dealt with by Joe Murphy, whilst at the other end, Sam Johnstone, on his home debut, did well to claim a free-kick delivered high into the area.
A pacy break by Febian Brandy saw him feed Craig Westcarr who fired wide of the target.
With 14 minutes on the clock, Jamie Paterson's free-kick found Andy Taylor who was given room for a strike which Murphy failed to hold and Westcarr attempted to keep alive, but the 'keeper was able to gather at the second attempt.
Some good play by Paterson saw him find James Baxendale whose strike from distance flew just wide.
On 23 minutes a teasing cross was headed just wide by William Edjenguele who up from the back to make his presence felt.
Just past the half-hour mark and a long ball forward set Brandy off in chase. As Murphy came to meet him, the ball spun away and was scrambled clear. The next raid saw Westcarr felled but nothing given.
It wasn't long before the opening goal arrived and it came from the boot of Coventry lad, Jamie Paterson who showed good feet at the end of a neat move involving Sam Mantom and James Baxendale to slot home for 1-0.
A low drive from Callum Ball was turned around the post by Sam Johnstone.
There was another chance for the visitors when a loose ball was seized upon by Carl Baker whose strike was blocked by Johnstone and Ball put the rebound wide of the target.
A spell of pressure from The Saddlers saw Paterson's cross scrambled away as far as Mantom whose inviting ball back into the danger zone evaded everyone.
HALF-TIME: Walsall 1 Coventry City 0
The early action of the second period saw Carl Baker's header tipped over by Johnstone.
It was a bright start by the Sky Blues as they looked to get back on level terms.
The Saddlers won a penalty on 53 minutes when Baxendale was upended. With Will Grigg out injured, the responsibility fell to Craig Westcarr who stayed as cool as the weather to make it 2-0.
With our tails up, Brandy showed good skill before trying his luck from distance. It was ambitious but almost found the target as Murphy scrambled across his goal.
There was a red card for a second booking for Jordan Stewart in the 65th as he fouled Febian Brandy.
Craig Westcarr saw yellow five minutes later as he delayed taking a corner, whilst Brandy was targeted on numerous occasions by the visitors. He won a free-kick in a promising position on 73 minutes which Paterson struck and Murphy could only push out into the path of Westcarr who headed home for 3-0.
The Saddlers all over our Midlands rivals at this stage as we drove forward in numbers.
As the clock ticked down, some unselfish play by Westcarr saw him tee up Paterson who made no mistake for 4-0.
Baxendale and Brandy replaced on 88 minutes as Romaine Sawyers, making his home debut, and Ashley Hemmings took their place.
It was a convincing victory by an excellent Saddlers who tore our Midlands rivals apart in unforgiving fashion...
FULL-TIME: Walsall 4 Coventry City 0