Walsall struck in each half to see off third-placed Peterborough and earn their first points in three matches.

On-loan Chelsea winger Milan Lalkovic's run and low right-foot curling shot gave the Saddlers a 26th-minute lead.

Romaine Sawyers then added a deserved second on 69 minutes when he fired home left-footed from 15 yards.

Posh had Sean Brisley sent off for a second booking before Walsall missed a late penalty when Ashley Hemmings' weak kick was saved by Bobby Olejnik.

  • Walsall's tally of 19 League One goals is the lowest of any of the teams in the top half of the table.

Brisley, already booked for a foul on Craig Westcarr, went for a clumsy challenge on the lively Lalkovic, his second bookable offence, as Posh succumbed to a third straight League One defeat.

After Posh full-back Craig Alcock's fierce shot was tipped onto the bar by home keeper Richard O'Donnell, the Saddlers then went close when centre-half Paul Downing's toe poke was denied at close range by Olejnik.

But former Aston Villa trainee Olejnik was left powerless when, having just swapped to the left side, Lalkovic weaved his way in from the flank to slip a neat finish under him.

Walsall top scorer Westcarr should have made it two after the break when he fired straight at the keeper after being set free by a poor backpass from Grant McCann, while home centre-half Downing had a header cleared off the line by Posh striker Britt Assombalonga.

  • Although they had beaten Exeter City in the FA Cup and Dagenham & Redbridge in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in their previous two matches, Posh's last league win came a month ago on 19 October.

The disappointing visitors were nearly let in but Nathaniel Mendez-Laing could not take advantage of another loosely-hit backpass by Andy Taylor.

Instead, the sparkling Saddlers went up the other end to wrap up victory - and a rise of four places back up the table to seventh.

Lalkovic set up Sawyers, who should immediately have added a second when he too was sent clear by the third comically underhit backpass of the night.

But the best chance for a Walsall third came in the final minute of normal time when Posh sub Gabriel Zakuani was adjudged to have fouled Downing in the box, Olejnik going low to his left to keep out sub Hemmings' feebly struck left-foot penalty.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM:

"It was a good pass and move then an excellent finish from Milan Lalkovic to get us going and we never looked back from that.

"The only thing missing was that we could have scored a few more.

"Our aim at the start of the season was to be competitive in every game but, if we keep playing like that, we'll beat anyone.

"We actually feel a little bit disappointed with our points return, given how consistently well we've played, but this is a tough league."

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"It's very rare when you get a game in which every player on the other team are better than yours. But you have to give credit to the opposition. Walsall are a good team.

"Sean Brisley's challenge was silly at that stage of the game when he'd already been booked. That's four red cards we've had now which does not make it any easier.

"But, once we'd gone down to 10 men, we were lucky not to get beat by more.

"We've hit a blip and it's up to me to do what I can to get our form back but there will certainly be changes. I know what I really want to do but it's just disappointing that we can't do anything about it until January."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Walsall

  • 01 O'Donnell
  • 15 Chambers
  • 03 Taylor
  • 07 Chambers
  • 12 Downing
  • 04 Butler
  • 09 Lalkovic (Hemmings - 84' )
  • 08 Mantom
  • 10 Westcarr (Hewitt - 89' )
  • 25 Sawyers
  • 16 Baxendale (Gray - 85' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Purkiss
  • 06 Featherstone
  • 11 Hemmings
  • 13 Lewis
  • 14 Benning
  • 24 Hewitt
  • 27 Gray

Peterborough United

  • 01 Olejnik
  • 31 Little Booked
  • 03 Ntlhe (Kearns - 45' Booked )
  • 02 Alcock
  • 04 Brisley Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 06 Bostwick
  • 22 Ephraim
  • 08 Payne
  • 19 Mendez-Laing
  • 09 Assombalonga (Zakuani - 82' )
  • 11 McCann (Barnett - 58' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Zakuani
  • 07 Swanson
  • 12 Vassell
  • 13 Day
  • 16 Kearns
  • 23 Barnett
  • 36 Jeffers
Ref: David Coote
Att: 4,597

Match Stats

Shots

24 5

On target

11 3

Corners

4 4

Fouls

9 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Walsall 2, Peterborough United 0.

90:00 +4:19 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Walsall 2, Peterborough United 0.

90:00 +3:47

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Gabriel Zakuani.

90:00 +3:41

Attempt blocked. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Hemmings.

89:26

Penalty saved! Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, left footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

88:56

Penalty Walsall. Paul Downing draws a foul in the penalty area.

88:56

Penalty conceded by Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough United) after a foul in the penalty area.

88:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Troy Hewitt replaces Craig Westcarr.

87:53

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Gabriel Zakuani.

86:23

Foul by James Chambers (Walsall).

86:23

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:09 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Julian Gray replaces James Baxendale.

83:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Ashley Hemmings replaces Milan Lalkovic.

81:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Peterborough United. Gabriel Zakuani replaces Britt Assombalonga.

79:59

Attempt missed. James Chambers (Walsall) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the left.

79:10

Attempt saved. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Westcarr.

77:13

Attempt missed. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

76:18 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Sean Brisley (Peterborough United) for a bad foul.

76:10

Foul by Sean Brisley (Peterborough United).

76:10

Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

73:53

Tyrone Barnett (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:53

Foul by James Chambers (Walsall).

71:18

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Michael Bostwick.

70:55

Attempt saved. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

70:43

Foul by Milan Lalkovic (Walsall).

70:43

Daniel Kearns (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:13 Booking

Booking Mark Little (Peterborough United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

69:49

Sam Mantom (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:49

Foul by Mark Little (Peterborough United).

68:08 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 2, Peterborough United 0. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Milan Lalkovic.

67:31

Attempt blocked. James Baxendale (Walsall) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

66:45

Attempt saved. Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

64:49

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

64:16

Delay in match Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Peterborough United) because of an injury.

63:02

Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Craig Westcarr.

60:29

Attempt blocked. Andrew Butler (Walsall) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andy Taylor with a cross.

59:56

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Mark Little.

58:01

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:01

Foul by Daniel Kearns (Peterborough United).

57:34

Attempt blocked. Craig Alcock (Peterborough United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Hogan Ephraim with a cross.

57:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Peterborough United. Tyrone Barnett replaces Grant McCann.

56:37

Corner, Peterborough United. Conceded by Adam Chambers.

55:21 Booking

Booking Daniel Kearns (Peterborough United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

55:11

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:11

Foul by Daniel Kearns (Peterborough United).

55:02

Attempt blocked. Sam Mantom (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

54:52

Attempt saved. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

51:44

Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

50:56 Booking

Booking Sean Brisley (Peterborough United) is shown the yellow card.

50:52

Craig Westcarr (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:52

Foul by Sean Brisley (Peterborough United).

50:22

Attempt missed. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

49:45

Hand ball by Jack Payne (Peterborough United).

49:07

Offside, Walsall. James Baxendale tries a through ball, but Romaine Sawyers is caught offside.

48:27

James Baxendale (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

48:27

Foul by Jack Payne (Peterborough United).

47:33

Foul by Andy Taylor (Walsall).

47:33

Mark Little (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:13

Attempt missed. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

47:10

Attempt blocked. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Baxendale.

45:00

Second Half begins Walsall 1, Peterborough United 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Peterborough United. Daniel Kearns replaces Kgosi Ntlhe.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Walsall 1, Peterborough United 0.

45:00 +0:20

Offside, Peterborough United. Hogan Ephraim tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

43:56

Corner, Peterborough United. Conceded by James Chambers.

43:14

Foul by James Baxendale (Walsall).

43:14

Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

41:22

Offside, Walsall. Paul Downing tries a through ball, but Craig Westcarr is caught offside.

39:40

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:40

Foul by Mark Little (Peterborough United).

38:17

Attempt missed. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Sam Mantom.

36:40

Attempt saved. Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Mark Little with a cross.

35:56

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:56

Foul by Sean Brisley (Peterborough United).

35:15

Corner, Peterborough United. Conceded by Andrew Butler.

33:12

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:12

Foul by Mark Little (Peterborough United).

31:26

Offside, Peterborough United. Sean Brisley tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

31:01

Attempt blocked. Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Hogan Ephraim with a headed pass.

30:26

Foul by Milan Lalkovic (Walsall).

30:26

Jack Payne (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:17

Offside, Peterborough United. Mark Little tries a through ball, but Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is caught offside.

26:38

Attempt missed. James Chambers (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

26:33

Attempt blocked. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

25:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 1, Peterborough United 0. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

23:51

Foul by Andy Taylor (Walsall).

23:51

Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:36

Attempt saved. Paul Downing (Walsall) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

21:55

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

21:55

Foul by Hogan Ephraim (Peterborough United).

20:08

James Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:08

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United).

16:22

Corner, Peterborough United. Conceded by Andy Taylor.

15:58

Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

15:58

Foul by Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough United).

15:31

Offside, Peterborough United. Jack Payne tries a through ball, but Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is caught offside.

10:52

Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United).

10:52

Andrew Butler (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:01

Attempt saved. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

7:26

Michael Bostwick (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:26

Foul by Romaine Sawyers (Walsall).

6:53

Foul by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Peterborough United).

6:53

James Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:23

Attempt saved. Craig Alcock (Peterborough United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

5:25

Offside, Walsall. James Chambers tries a through ball, but Craig Westcarr is caught offside.

5:02

Attempt missed. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Craig Westcarr.

3:44

Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

3:44

Foul by Milan Lalkovic (Walsall).

1:43

Attempt blocked. James Baxendale (Walsall) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andy Taylor.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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