Match ends, Walsall 0, Coventry City 2.
Coventry City claimed their third away win in five league games with a comfortable victory against Walsall.
Captain Jim O'Brien's spectacular early goal, a 30-yard right-foot screamer, set the Sky Blues on their way.
Recalled striker Marcus Tudgay then headed in his first goal for Coventry to condemn the Saddlers to a second successive home defeat.
But the visitors could have won by more as Tudgay saw his penalty saved, as well as heading against the bar.
It was a disappointing way for Dean Smith to mark his fourth anniversary in charge of Walsall which, following Alan Pardew's departure at Newcastle, makes him the fourth longest-saving manager in English football's top four divisions.
|Happy hunting ground|
|Walsall have now hosted Coventry City seven times over the past 30 years - but the Saddlers' only win in that time was a 4-0 victory at Bescot two seasons ago.|
Coventry should already have been ahead before their sixth-minute opener.
After Romaine Sawyers was adjudged to have brought down O'Brien, Walsall keeper Richard O'Donnell then saved Tudgay's spot-kick with his legs.
But, having failed from 12 yards, just a minute later, Coventry took the lead from well over double that distance when O'Brien let fly with a speculative effort out on the right and the ball flew into O'Donnell's top right corner.
Tudgay then headed against the bar, Frank Nouble curled a low right-foot shot wide and O'Donnell went full stretch to his left to make a brilliant one-handed save to deny on-loan City defender Matty Pennington.
Walsall, who face a Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final tie at Preston on Wednesday night, improved after the break.
James Baxendale and Anthony Forde were both denied in quick succession before on-loan midfielder Michael Cain's low volley came back off the right-hand post.
But the Saddlers had been outplayed and Tudgay rose at the far post to head home O'Brien's cross to settle the outcome three minutes from time - and send Coventry's 1,772 away fans home the happiest.
Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM:
"I was very angry with the way we started. We were sloppy and slow, they got in our faces for the first 15 or 20 minutes and we were sitting too deep.
"The lad scored a wonderful goal, but we gave them a lift and you can't afford to do that against any team in this league.
"In the second half we were superior, Romaine Sawyers was creating things and we should have scored.
"We didn't deserve to lose, as you could tell you get a team like Coventry coming here and time-wasting for 45 minutes."
Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:
"That was the sort of performance you expect from a Coventry City side, one to make our fans proud.
"We were outstanding, especially our young back-four who performed brilliantly to keep our fifth clean sheet in eight games.
"We've now conceded only four goals in eight games. That's a fantastic record. And it gives us a really good foundation to build from.
"We had quite a bit to contend with before the game with Gary Madine and Aaron Martin being out, and Andy Webster withdrew just before the game. But the players didn't let it get to them."
- 15ChambersSubstituted forPurkissat 71'minutes
- 27FordeSubstituted forMansetat 83'minutes
- 11BaxendaleSubstituted forBenningat 67'minutes
- 18PhillipsSubstituted forFinchat 78'minutes
- 6ThomasBooked at 73mins
- 12JacksonSubstituted forBartonat 79'minutes
- Carl Boyeson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Walsall 0, Coventry City 2.
Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).
Conor Thomas (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Ben Purkiss.
Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.
Goal! Walsall 0, Coventry City 2. Marcus Tudgay (Coventry City) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jim O'Brien following a corner.
Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Malvind Benning.
Corner, Coventry City. Conceded by Andy Taylor.
Substitution, Walsall. Mathieu Manset replaces Anthony Forde.
Attempt missed. Andy Taylor (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Michael Cain (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Foul by Matthew Pennington (Coventry City).
James O'Connor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Frank Nouble (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ben Purkiss (Walsall).
Substitution, Coventry City. Adam Barton replaces Simeon Jackson.
Simeon Jackson (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Michael Cain (Walsall).
Substitution, Coventry City. Jack Finch replaces Aaron Phillips because of an injury.