A 10-man Saddlers team started the new decade off with a win courtesy of a single goal from striker Josh Gordon.
In a first half that wasn’t littered with chances, it was the Saddlers who were in full control from the get go.
Inside the opening few minutes of the game, a Danny Guthrie corner was met by the head of Gordon but the striker could only direct his header over Sam Sargeant’s crossbar.
After 22 minutes the Saddlers created themselves another chance as substitute Cameron Norman crossed the ball into Rory Holden but the winger failed to connect properly with his header and the chance passed.
With less then 10 minutes to go in the first half, Gordon thought he’d opened the scoring but for a fine save from Sergeant. Another corner from Guthrie was headed goal wards by Mat Sadler with the block then falling to Gordon but his effort was well parried.
But with two minutes to go in the first half left to play, Darrell Clarke’s side got their deserved opener.
A long ball from Liam Roberts evaded everyone in the Orient defence and allowed Gordon to race through on goal before rounding Sergeant and finishing into the empty net.
Similarly to the first half, the second 45 took a while to spring into life and it wasn’t until just after the hour mark when the first real chance fell the way of the Saddlers.
Some fine work in the middle of the park saw Rory Holden beat his man before delivering a pinpoint cross into the box but Gordon’s header went just wide of the post.
Five minutes later and the Saddlers were reduced to 10 men as Cameron Pring picked up a second booking and was given his marching orders.
Despite relentless pressure from the visitors in the final 20 minutes, the Saddlers stood strong and earned all three points!