Saddlers beaten in first match of the season...Walsall’s Development Squad fell to a 2-0 defeat against Port Vale in their opening match of the 2016/17 Central League season.
First-half goals from Rigino Cicilia and Dan Turner proved the difference as the Valiants ran out comfortable winners.
New loan signing Scott Laird played just over an hour, while fellow loanee Josh Ginnelly, midfielder Milan Butterfield and emerging youngster Jordon Sangha also featured.
Vale threatened first as Kiko curled a 25-yard free-kick narrowly over, while Walsall responded with Kory Roberts and Ethan Freemantle each heading off target.
The visitors went ahead on 19 minutes, when Cicilia pounced on Roberts’ weak back pass and calmly slotted past Chandler Hallwood.
Ashley Maddocks went close for the home side on the cusp of half-time when his sweetly-struck 20-yard strike whistled a fraction wide.
But it was the Valiants who netted again before the break, Dan Gardner picking out the bottom corner with a fierce right-footed drive from outside the box.
Port Vale were in complete control and they almost added a third goal seven minutes after half-time.
Sam Kelly latched onto Michael Brown’s lofted pass and rounded Hallwood, but Roberts came across to make a crucial sliding challenge.
Jordon Sangha curled wide and Cameron Peters headed over late on but, in truth, Walsall never threatened a comeback as the match petered out for a comfortable Vale victory.
Team: Hallwood, Tonks, Laird (Cockerill-Mollett 62’), Butterfield, Vann, Roberts, Freemantle (Mason 68’), Sangha, Peters, Maddocks (Kendrick 75’), Ginnelly.
Subs not used: Ganley, Shorrock.