CHESTERFIELD 1-4 WALSALLSam Mantom scored twice as Walsall came from behind to thrash ten-man Chesterfield in Jon Whitney’s first match as interim head coach.
Jim O’Connor’s 19th-minute own goal put the Spireites ahead, only for Tom Anderson to also put through his own net to make it 1-1.
Mantom’s calm finish gave the visitors a 57th-minute lead, before Chesterfield’s Dion Donohue was sent off for violent conduct.
Jordy Hiwula pounced on an Anderson error to make it 3-1 and Mantom added a smartly-taken fourth to clinch Walsall’s first win in seven.
Whitney made two changes to the Saddlers team that lost against Barnsley in Sean O’Driscoll’s final game in charge.
Rico Henry and Hiwula came into a 3-5-2 formation, while Kieron Morris and Anthony Forde dropped out.
Walsall completely dominated the opening quarter of an hour, bossing possession and penning Chesterfield back inside their own half.
Their first chance came on seven minutes, when a stretching Bradshaw headed Mantom’s floated cross wide at the back post.
Moments later, the recalled Henry burst into the box and unleashed a low left-footed drive which deflected just past the far upright.
And then, Jason Demetriou dummied Romaine Sawyers’ pass for Mantom, who fired a crisp first-time shot marginally wide from 20 yards.
Chesterfield began to grow into the contest, with Connor Dimaio teeing up Jay O’Shea to curl harmlessly over visiting keeper Neil Etheridge’s bar.
The revitalised Spireites – unbeaten in five heading into the match – fashioned a clear scoring opportunity just moments later.
Lee Novak beat the Saddlers’ offside trap to latch onto O’Shea’s lofted pass but his stabbed effort was superbly smothered by Etheridge.
Danny Wilson's men went ahead on 19 minutes, when O'Connor inadvertently turned O'Shea's whipped cross past his own keeper.
Walsall looked for a quick response, with Hiwula turning and shooting straight at home custodian Tommy Lee after some neat build-up play.
But the Saddlers pulled level on 35 minutes, when Anderson, under no pressure whatsoever, sliced Mantom’s right-wing cross into his own goal.
Chesterfield looked to restore their lead, with Ollie Banks firing a firm long-range drive narrowly off target and O’Shea scuffing wastefully wide.
HALF-TIME: CHESTERFIELD 1-1 WALSALL
Relegation-troubled Chesterfield threatened first after the break, O’Shea with a 25-yard strike which sailed wide of Etheridge’s right-hand upright.
Just before the hour-mark, Walsall took the lead.
Sawyers, Bradshaw and Demetriou combined to set up Mantom, who took a touch before curling a precise right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
A melee ensued immediately after the goal, resulting in Chesterfield’s Donohue being shown a straight red card for violent conduct.
Now holding a man and a goal advantage, the Saddlers never looked back and had a fine chance to increase their advantage shortly after.
Henry steamed in at the far post to meet Mantom’s accurate cross with a powerful header but Lee made a fine reaction stop from point-blank range.
Chesterfield, though, proved the architects of their own downfall as Walsall made it 3-1 on 71 minutes.
Anderson miscontrolled Banks’ awkward pass, allowing Hiwula to nip in and finish through Lee’s legs for his first goal since rejoining the club.
The Spireites were chasing shadows and four minutes later, Walsall extended their lead further.
Sawyers rode a challenge before picking out Hiwula, who flicked a sublime first-time pass through for Mantom to coolly stroke the ball beyond Lee.
Chesterfield should have pulled one back late on, when substitute Ritchie Humphreys blazed wide when well placed inside the area.
Walsall pushed for a fifth, with Lee parrying Demetriou’s deflected effort and then reacting quickly to prevent debutant Bryn Morris poking home.
FULL-TIME: CHESTERFIELD 1-4 WALSALL
Team: Etheridge, Downing, O'Connor, Taylor (Forde 79'), Chambers, Demetriou, Mantom (B Morris 88'), Sawyers, Henry, Hiwula, Bradshaw (Lalkovic 84').
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Preston, Kinsella, Flanagan.
Attendance: 6,938 (823 Walsall supporters).