WALSALL 1 YEOVIL 2
Yeovil Town's first Sky Bet League One goals of the season were rewarded with their first three points at Walsall.
The much-improved Glovers were worthy of their 2-1 victory at the Bescot Stadium, more resolute in defence and more fluid in attack. The Saddlers managed to cancel out James Hayter's opener but stayed on level terms for just a minute before Kevin Dawson restored the buffer.
Gary Johnson made two changes to the side defeated by Gillingham on Saturday, Sam Foley replacing Nathan Ralph and James Hayter coming in for Kieffer Moore.
Walsall nearly edged an even opening on six minutes when the impressive Liam Kinsella picked out the run of Paul Downing to the far post, the untracked centre half heading wide. Four minutes later Hayter raced on to Joe Edwards' sublime through ball, lashing beyond the target as the angle became too tight.
On 17 minutes Malvind Benning sprung the offside trap and got behind Yeovil on their right hand side, crossing for Ashley Grimes who, running at pace, lacked composure and scuffed wide. Nathan Smith's rampaging run on 21 minutes left Romaine Sawyers in his wake. His low cross was just out of reach for Foley and Hayter, AJ Leitch-Smith inches away sliding in at the far post.
Grimes did well to control a 32nd minute left wing cross, turning and stinging the hands of Chris Weale as the Glovers looked on, flat-footed. Moments later Dean Holden met a corner but nodded just over. On 44 minutes Jakub Sokolik timed to perfection a sliding challenge on the edge of the box only to be penalised with a free kick. Andy Taylor's set piece beat Weale but crept wide.
Seconds before the break Sawyers broke the offside trap only to inexplicably drag wide with just the keeper to beat, Tom Bradshaw then clean through but denied by Ben Nugent's urgent back-tracking.
Six minutes after the break Edwards accelerated to the edge of the area but hammered high and wide.
The Glovers broke the deadlock on 56 minutes thanks to a fantastic move. Dawson's clipped cross picked out Hayter who craned his neck to get above the ball and head back beyond keeper Richard O'donnell. Walsall levelled on 72 minutes as sustained pressure was justly rewarded while punishing shaky Yeovil defending. When the visitors could not clear a corner, Bradshaw bundled in from close range.
However, parity lasted barely 60 seconds. Smith's exquisite cross found Dawson, the Irishman thumping back across goal with Leitch-Smith getting away with a suspected handball as the ball had fractionally crossed the line. The Glovers received a massive let off in the 89th minute when only the referee thought Walsall were undeserving of a penalty.
Substitute Amadou Bakayoko was shoved to the ground by Smith but the office waved play on.
Six minutes of added time gave Walsall late hope, Yeovil managed to hold on with 186 travelling fans in fine voice at the final whistle.
Walsall (4-2-3-1) – O'donnell; Kinsella, Downing, Holden, Taylor; Clifford (Morris, 78), Chambers; Grimes, Sawyers (Bakayoko, 83), Benning (Forde, 63); Bradshaw. Unused subs: Baxendale, MacGillivray, Flanagan, Rowley.
Goals: Bradshaw 73.
Bookings: Grimes (dissent).
Yeovil Town (4-4-2) – Weale; Sokolik, Martin, Nugent, Smith; Dawson (Hoskins, 80), Gillett, Edwards, Foley; Leitch-Smith, Hayter. Unused subs: Moloney, Krysiak, Moore, Ralph, Brooks.
Goals: Hayter 56, Dawson 73.
Bookings: Nugent (dissent), Sokolik (foul), Foley (foul).
Referee: J Simpson