WALSALL v LEYTON ORIENT
THE SADDLERS returned to home soil for the visit of Leyton Orient.
The early action saw a couple of free-kicks in promising positions for Walsall as firstly Andy Taylor's effort was gathered by the 'keeper and then a low strike from Jordan Cook went through the defensive wall but lacked any real power.
The Saddlers were given a boost as leading scorer, Tom Bradshaw, returned to action and he looked to make his mark early on.
A neat spell of possession by Walsall saw Romaine Sawyers heavily involved and he fed Jordy Hiwula out wide and as he cut inside, his low ball across goal was blocked for a corner by Alex Cisak in The O's' goal.
At the other end, Richard O'Donnell did well to deny Jobi McAnuff as he broke through The Saddlers' rear-guard.
The visitors went close again on the half-hour mark when Chris Dagnall fired just wide from a good position. He then headed wide from a cross from the left as half-time approached.
Some patient build-up play from Walsall at the end of the half saw Cook put an inviting ball into the danger zone but no-one was on hand to profit as the half ended goalless.
The start of the second half was equally as cagey with neither side able to make the breakthrough.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 56 minutes when Ryan Hedges fired home from close range to make it 1-0 to The O's. The second goal was soon to arrive as Chris Dagnall somehow managed to find the net from a tight angle.
There was a change for The Saddlers on 66 minutes as Reece Flanagan replaced Michael Cain. Ten minutes later, Ashley Grimes replaced Cook and with ten minutes to go Amadou Bakayoko came on for Bradshaw.
The Saddlers were unable to make any attacking progress against well-organised opposition on a frustrating afternoon.
There was a stoppage time chance for Bakayoko as he was played in by fellow substitute, Ashley Grimes, but the 'keeper pushed his effort away.
The full-time whistle soon sounded to signal a 2-0 defeat on a disappointing day.