The Saddlers picked up back-to-back wins in the league for the first time all season as they secured a 1-0 victory over top of the league Forest Green Rovers in Michael Flynn’s first game in charge.
Following in the footsteps of last weekend’s 1-0 triumph over second in the league Tranmere Rovers, Walsall went in search of another three points and got them in a thoroughly accomplished performance at the Fully Charged New Lawn Stadium.
It was the home side who had the first clear cut chance of the afternoon however as Nicky Cadden delivered a low ball across the six-yard box but Matty Stevens could only direct his effort over the crossbar.
Moments later, Tyrese Shade, who was playing as a left-wing back, beat his man and delivered a similar cross across the face of goal but it was inches too far in front of George Miller.
But that didn’t stop the Saddlers and moments later on the 11th minute, Flynn’s side were rewarded for their bright start as Emmanuel Osadebe pounced on a loose ball and slipped in Miller who calmly slotted home past Luke McGee.
As the half ticked on, it was the Saddlers who continued to grow into the game and seven minutes before half time, Miller nearly got his second as he let fly from 20 yards out but his effort was over the bar.
The second half started at a blistering pace and the Saddlers nearly got themselves a second goal as Osadebe squared the ball to the back post and Miller set up Liam Kinsella but his effort was cleared on the line by Udoka Godwin-Malife.
Seconds after the Kinsella chance, the home side went straight up the other end and Jack Aitchinson directed a header towards the top corner but Carl Rushworth made a fine fingertip save to deny the Rovers man.
Just before the hour mark and the home side went close again as Cadden beat Saddlers Captain Hayden White on the right but his fizzing cross was well beaten away by Rushworth once more.
On the hour mark, it was Walsall who went close this time round as Conor Wilkinson closed down the defender and the ball broke for Osadebe via Miller’s pass but his effort was just over the bar.
As the clock ticked down the home side went in search of an equaliser and nearly got one when Cadden delivered a low cross into the box and Rollin Menayese stuck a leg out but fortunately for him it was deflected over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Shortly after that chance for the home side, the Saddlers had a brilliant opportunity to make it safe as Rushworth’s long kick found Wilkinson who squared it to debutant Devante Rodney but his effort was excellently blocked by last man Godwin-Malife.
After a late flurry of pressure, the Saddlers stood their ground and saw the game out as the full time whistle went and all three points were secured.