Walsall 4 Barnet 1
There is no mystery surrounding Walsall's back-to-form display, first win in five games and a sudden ability to find holes in the opposition defence.
In a word it was all about 'quality'. Three successive defeats prompted a burst of transfer activity which saw the arrival of experienced midfielders Kevin Harper and Kevin Cooper, on loan from Stoke City and Cardiff City respectively.
The pair had the confidence and ability to take men on, knew how to deliver passes into critical areas, and gradually their example spread to players who had lost a bit of confidence as results dipped.
Cooper's excellent cross forced Walsall's equaliser, then Harper announced his second coming with two cracking goals in the second half to give the slipping team their biggest win since they hammered Peterborough 5-0 in September.
Harper became a big favourite with supporters during his previous spell at Bescot in the 1999/2000 season when he was on loan from Derby County, and on this form he will help the Saddlers reclaim their place as one of the favourites for automatic promotion.
Manager Richard Money has pulled off a smart coup in his determination to halt the slide, and he said: "The two of them showed their quality. The first half was 'getting to know you', and the two boys will only get better."
Will he seek to extend their loan spell beyond a month? "If they like it here and performances go like they have done today, I would like to think 'yes'", he said.
Before this game Walsall had won only one of their previous seven matches, and on Tuesday were removed from the top of the table by a very good Hartlepool side. So the pressure was really on when former Birmingham City striker Oliver Allen put the visitors in front after 22 minutes.
Fortunately Cooper's vicious inswinging cross in the 33rd minute was deflected into his own net by Barnet skipper Ian Hendon for a lucky equaliser, though the Saddlers deserved some reward for bouncing back.
The new arrivals helped Walsall captain Michael Dobson rediscover his best form, marked by his headed goal from a Dean Keates free-kick that put Walsall ahead ten minutes into the second half.
Shortly afterwards Money made an important decision, replacing the labouring Hector Sam with Mark Wright and switching Harper to play alongside Martin Butler up front. Within three minutes Harper exchanged passes with Butler and darted through to increase the lead.
Walsall hit a fourth goal in the 77th minute, Keates delivering a perfect free-kick to the far post where Gerrard headed down for Harper to thunder a volley into the roof of the net.
Another new face could arrive this week, with Money needing a defender to cover for the injured Chris Westwood (hamstring) and Ian Roper (knee). Derby County's Richard Jackson is one man being mentioned.
Scorers: Allen (22) 0-1; Hendon (og, 33) 1-1, Dobson (55) 2-1, Harper (65) 3-1, Harper (77) 4-1.
WALSALL (4-4-2): Ince; Westwood (Pead, 25), Gerrard, Dann, Fox; Harper (Cederqvist, 79), Dobson, Keates, Cooper; Butler, Sam (Wright, 62). Subs: Bossu, Demontagnac.
BARNET (4-4-2): Burch; Devera, King, Hendon, Gross; Cogan (Hessenthaler, 79) Bailey, Sinclair, Graham; Allen (Vieira, 79), Grazioli. Subs: Flitney, Nicolau, Lewis.
Referee: G Williamson (Berkshire).
Bookings: Walsall — Gerrard (foul).