Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws marked his first league game back in charge of the Iron with victory at Walsall.

Niall Canavan nodded in the first from a corner by Mark Duffy, who tapped into an empty net for the second.

David Prutton's straight red card for a challenge on Adam Chambers just before the break offered Walsall hope.

But Canavan powered in another Duffy corner before Leon Clarke's late solo effort, while Will Grigg grabbed a last-minute consolation for the hosts.

That's as painful as it's been, standing on the side 4-0 down

Dean Smith Walsall boss

For the Iron, it was a welcome contrast from Saturday's heavy FA Cup first round defeat by Gillingham.

Former Wolves striker Clarke's strike was the pick of the goals, latching onto substitute Callum Kennedy's long ball and cleverly lifting it over the advancing keeper David Grof with a neat lob, before slotting home to seal his side's first win in nine games.

Walsall slip three places to 16th after suffering their ninth game without a win.

The highlight of an ineffectual display by Dean Smith's men was a second-half shot by youngster James Baxendale, kept out by a marvellous save by visiting keeper Steve Mildenhall, who also saved Nicky Featherstone's curler.

Grigg did at least get them on the scoresheet after an injury-time blunder by Canavan.

But, up against 10 men for the whole of the second half, the disillusioned home fans who made up Walsall's lowest league crowd of the season clearly expected much more.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC Sport:

"That's as painful as it's been, standing on the side 4-0 down. We had three experienced players out, in Florent Cuvelier, Andy Taylor and Ben Purkiss, but that's no excuse. We just defended badly.

"And they passed the ball better than us. They've got good players. If they'd played like that two weeks ago, then Alan Knill would still be a job.

"We lost a game here four weeks ago and got clapped off the pitch. Tonight the same group of players got booed off.

"There's two ways you go now. You either sink or you swim. And we'll see how we respond on Saturday."

Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws told BBC Sport:

"It's been a long time coming a result like this, but it's only a small step. There's a lot of games to be played yet and we're not getting carried away.

"We've still got to enjoy this victory though. I walked into our dressing room after and it felt like a grave. I told them to smile and a couple of the players chipped back 'We've forgotten how to'.

"I still live in the town and I was hurting as much as the supporters to see where we are as I thought we were under-achieving.

"But we're delighted with the start we've made. Losing in the FA Cup on Saturday cost us the chance of helping on the financial side, but at least we didn't lose three points. I'd rather have the momentum of winning."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Walsall

  • 01 Grof
  • 02 Taundry
  • 04 Butler
  • 05 Holden
  • 25 Chambers (Benning - 66' )
  • 06 Featherstone
  • 07 Chambers
  • 16 Jones (Grigg - 46' )
  • 24 Baxendale (Williams - 81' )
  • 10 Paterson
  • 17 Bowerman

Substitutes

  • 23 Walker
  • 20 Benning
  • 22 Downing
  • 11 Hemmings
  • 21 Morris
  • 09 Grigg
  • 19 Williams

Scunthorpe

  • 26 Mildenhall
  • 02 Ribeiro
  • 06 Reid
  • 15 Canavan
  • 21 Newey
  • 04 Walker (Mozika - 78' )
  • 16 Duffy (Ryan - 86' )
  • 24 Prutton Dismissed
  • 09 Clarke
  • 11 Barcham (Kennedy - 65' )
  • 22 Hawley

Substitutes

  • 01 Slocombe
  • 03 Kennedy
  • 07 Ryan
  • 08 Mozika
  • 14 Gibbons
  • 10 Grella
  • 12 Jennings
Ref: Harrington
Att: 2,787

Match Stats

Shots

15 9

On target

7 7

Corners

7 6

Fouls

8 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:03 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +1:43

The assist for the goal came from Richard Taundry.

90:00 +1:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Will Grigg - Walsall 1 - 4 Scunthorpe Will Grigg finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Walsall 1-4 Scunthorpe.

90:00 +0:55

Jimmy Ryan challenges Andy Butler unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Malvind Benning.

88:27

Shot from 18 yards by Damien Mozika. Save made by David Grof.

86:48

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Malvind Benning by Jimmy Ryan. Malvind Benning takes the direct free kick. Adam Chambers has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.

85:55 Substitution

Substitution Jimmy Ryan comes on in place of Mark Duffy.

84:33

Shot from 18 yards from Jamie Paterson. Save by Steve Mildenhall.

81:51

Will Grigg challenges Karl Hawley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steve Mildenhall takes the free kick.

81:13

Leon Clarke is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by David Grof.

80:20 Substitution

Substitution James Baxendale goes off and Aaron Williams comes on.

78:56

The assistant referee signals for offside against Jamie Paterson. Free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

77:30 Substitution

Substitution Damien Mozika on for Josh Walker.

76:01

James Baxendale has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.

74:08

The assist for the goal came from Callum Kennedy.

74:08 Goal scored

Goal! - Leon Clarke - Walsall 0 - 4 Scunthorpe Leon Clarke gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Walsall 0-4 Scunthorpe.

73:33

Headed effort on goal by Will Grigg from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

71:46

The referee blows for offside. Dean Holden takes the free kick.

66:35

Richard Taundry produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

65:10 Substitution

Substitution James Chambers leaves the field to be replaced by Malvind Benning.

64:44 Substitution

Substitution (Scunthorpe) makes a substitution, with Callum Kennedy coming on for Andy Barcham.

64:07

Shot from outside the penalty box by Adam Chambers goes wide right of the goal.

62:51

Shot by James Baxendale from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

61:41

Shot by James Baxendale from 25 yards. Save made by Steve Mildenhall. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jamie Paterson from the left by-line, clearance by Niall Canavan.

60:20

Jamie Paterson takes a shot. Josh Walker gets a block in. Mark Duffy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Butler. Richard Taundry restarts play with the free kick.

59:15

The offside flag is raised against Leon Clarke. Andy Butler takes the free kick.

57:19

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by James Baxendale from the right by-line, Andy Barcham manages to make a clearance.

55:34

Karl Hawley has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.

52:34

Unfair challenge on Josh Walker by James Baxendale results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Reid.

51:37

Corner taken right-footed by James Baxendale from the right by-line, Andy Butler takes a shot. Save by Steve Mildenhall.

51:09

Leon Clarke gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Featherstone. Andy Butler takes the indirect free kick.

49:26

Assist by Tom Newey.

49:26 Goal scored

Goal! - Niall Canavan - Walsall 0 - 3 Scunthorpe Niall Canavan finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close in. Walsall 0-3 Scunthorpe.

48:51

Corner taken right-footed by Mark Duffy to the near post,

45:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christian Ribeiro by Will Grigg. Free kick taken by Paul Reid.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Will Grigg comes on in place of Jake Jones.

45:00 +4:45 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +4:08

Shot from 25 yards by James Baxendale. Blocked by Richard Taundry.

45:00 +2:42

Corner taken by Jamie Paterson, Nicky Featherstone takes a shot. Andy Barcham gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jamie Paterson, clearance made by Paul Reid.

45:00 +1:33

Headed from the edge of the area by Andy Butler goes wide of the left-hand post.

44:26

Richard Taundry takes the direct free kick.

44:26 Dismissal

Dismissal David Prutton dismissed for serious foul play.

44:18

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Chambers by David Prutton.

42:13

Mark Duffy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richard Taundry. Andy Butler restarts play with the free kick.

41:55

The official flags Karl Hawley offside. Dean Holden restarts play with the free kick.

38:36

Andy Barcham is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by James Chambers.

36:18

Effort from outside the penalty box by Jake Jones goes wide right of the target.

35:19

Unfair challenge on Jake Jones by Christian Ribeiro results in a free kick. Jake Jones takes the direct free kick. Corner taken right-footed by Jamie Paterson from the right by-line, clearance by Tom Newey.

34:44

Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Reid on George Bowerman. Richard Taundry takes the direct free kick.

33:02

The referee blows for offside against Leon Clarke. Free kick taken by David Grof.

32:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Chambers on Karl Hawley. Steve Mildenhall takes the direct free kick.

30:00

Assist on the goal came from Karl Hawley.

30:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Mark Duffy - Walsall 0 - 2 Scunthorpe Mark Duffy finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Walsall 0-2 Scunthorpe.

27:25

Leon Clarke is caught offside. David Grof restarts play with the free kick.

26:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by James Baxendale on Niall Canavan. Direct free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

24:46

Shot by Karl Hawley from 18 yards. Andy Butler gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Duffy, clearance by Richard Taundry.

22:37

The offside flag is raised against Andy Barcham. David Grof takes the indirect free kick.

21:34

Unfair challenge on Paul Reid by George Bowerman results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

21:10

Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Niall Canavan misses to the right of the target.

20:42

Unfair challenge on Mark Duffy by Jake Jones results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Duffy.

17:07

The referee penalises Christian Ribeiro for handball. Indirect free kick taken by David Grof.

16:03

Karl Hawley handles the ball and concedes a free kick. David Grof takes the indirect free kick.

14:09

Short corner taken by Jake Jones.

13:29

Leon Clarke concedes a free kick for a foul on James Chambers. Direct free kick taken by Dean Holden.

12:34

Assist on the goal came from Mark Duffy.

12:34 Goal scored

Goal! - Niall Canavan - Walsall 0 - 1 Scunthorpe Niall Canavan scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Walsall 0-1 Scunthorpe.

11:54

Corner taken by Mark Duffy played to the near post,

9:20

Corner taken right-footed by Mark Duffy from the left by-line, clearance by Dean Holden.

7:55

The offside flag is raised against Dean Holden. Indirect free kick taken by Steve Mildenhall.

7:21

Unfair challenge on Andy Butler by Leon Clarke results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Taundry.

5:41

Jake Jones gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Karl Hawley. Paul Reid takes the free kick.

4:51

Karl Hawley challenges Richard Taundry unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Grof.

1:09

Corner taken by Mark Duffy played to the near post, clearance by James Baxendale. Volleyed right-footed shot by Andy Barcham. Andy Butler gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Mark Duffy from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Nicky Featherstone.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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