SCUNTHORPE 0-1 WALSALLRico Henry’s first-half strike gave Walsall a gritty victory at struggling Scunthorpe in Dean Smith’s 250th match in charge of the Saddlers.
The 18-year-old full-back scored the game's only goal on 27 minutes, with a composed left-footed finish past home keeper Luke Daniels.
Walsall were rarely threatened and could have won more convincingly with Tom Bradshaw, Jordan Cook and Henry each going close.
The Saddlers remain in second place in League One – now just a point behind leaders Burton - and are still unbeaten away from home.
Cook and Henry came into the Saddlers’ starting XI for the trip to Glanford Park, with Milan Lalkovic and Anthony Forde dropping to the substitutes’ bench.
Scunthorpe, who slipped into the relegation zone after losing 2-1 at Southend on Saturday, started brightly with Van Veen and Gary McSheffrey each firing off target from distance.
Sam Mantom had Walsall’s first attempt on seven minutes, but his 25-yard free-kick flew just over.
Huddersfield loanee Lolley, who was making his home debut, was a constant threat for the Iron.
After 15 minutes, he embarked on a slaloming run, skipping past Andy Taylor, before seeing a tame low shot saved by Etheridge to his right.
Walsall gradually began to impose themselves as an attacking force.
Midway through the half, Scunthorpe keeper Daniels made a flying save to keep out Cook’s header from Taylor’s accurate far-post cross.
From Mantom’s deep corner, top-scorer Bradshaw headed a whisker wide of the left-hand upright.
And on 27 minutes, the Saddlers went in front.
Henry latched onto Cook’s perfectly-weighted reverse pass and burst between two home defenders before lifting a delicate left-footed shot over Daniels from eight yards.
It was an excellent finish at the end of a flowing passing move, with Bradshaw, Mantom and James O’Connor all involved in the build-up.
Walsall were on top and came close to a second goal moments later, as Cook cleverly rolled his man before firing a rising drive into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Ten minutes before the break, Etheridge had to be alert to make a fine one-handed stop from Van Veen’s curling shot.
HALF-TIME: SCUNTHORPE 0-1 WALSALL
McSheffrey emerged as Scunthorpe’s creator in chief at the start of the second period.
The former Coventry winger produced a menacing low cross which Downing, facing his own goal, did well to divert behind.
From the resulting set-piece, Neal Bishop lashed a vicious volley goalwards which deflected fortuitously over the bar.
On 52 minutes, McSheffrey delivered a teasing first-time centre from the left which eluded James O’Connor. The ball ran through to Madden, six yards out, but he wasn’t expecting it and failed to connect.
Chances were in short supply in the second half.
Cook tested Daniels with a deflected right-footed drive at his near post, and at the other end, Etheridge pushed away McSheffrey’s cross-come-shot.
Iron boss Mark Robins made three substitutions in an attempt to reinvigorate his stuttering side - but the expected late onslaught never came.
Instead, Walsall should have increased the margin of victory.
Andy Taylor curled a left-footed free-kick over the bar and Tom Bradshaw fired a powerful shot narrowly over.
Then, in the final minute of added time, Mantom slipped in Henry, who dragged a low shot wide when one-on-one with Daniels.
FULL-TIME: SCUNTHORPE 0-1 WALSALL
Team: Etheridge, Demetriou, Taylor, O’Connor, Downing, Chambers ©, Mantom, Bradshaw, Sawyers, Henry, Cook (Flanagan 75’).
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Baxendale, Forde, Lalkovic, Preston, Morris.
Attendance: 2,596 (188 Walsall supporters).