Walsall 2 Notts County 1
Yet another team discovered why Walsall have earned the reputation as "The Grinders" as they recovered from a shaky start and survived a nervous ending to clinch their ninth home win of the season and stretch the lead at the top of League Two to seven points.
Notts County came and went the way of so many others this season, and there was a familiar ring to the opposition's lament when manager Steve Thompson groaned: "We out-footballed Walsall but gave away two bad goals."
He also considered the Saddlers' new striker, Tommy Wright, should have been sent off for two fouls on goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington before the on-loan Barnsley player put the home team in front after 27 minutes
And if not a red card for that, he wondered, why didn't referee Neil Swarbrick send him packing for an apparent dive near the penalty box in the second half?
Not surprisingly Walsall manager Richard Money had a different view of the situation, even though he did confirm that he would be having a little chat to Wright for getting involved in a couple of "silly" incidents.
This was the Saddlers' ninth win in ten home league games, but their remarkable record of not conceding a league goal in front of their own fans was ended by Ian Ross's 72nd-minute free-kick which Clayton Ince saved, then allowed the ball to squirm from his grasp and over the line.
No criticism should be aimed at the Trinidad and Tobago international, however, because he had pulled off a couple of great saves in the first half, and he has been a major reason for Walsall's run of 12 league games without defeat.
But do people appreciate what has been done so far at Bescot, with the team topping the division with a seven-point lead over their nearest rivals and, having taken 44 points from 19 games, and sitting ten points ahead of Wycombe Wanderers in fourth?
Manager Money is not sure and he said: "Did anyone here, in their wildest dreams, think we would be in this position? Sometimes we all forget what it is we have started here.
"We have got to give the players an absolutely fantastic pat on the back for what they have achieved so far."
County, beaten only once away from home before this match, dominated the opening exchanges and Ince pulled off his first fine save in the 17th minute to keep out a point-blank shot from Mike Edwards.
But after being booked for one foul on the visitors' goalkeeper, then verbally warned for another risky challenge, Tommy Wright accepted a pass from the skilful Mark Kinsella to blast a left-foot shot just inside the near post.
He then set up a chance which Martin Butler drove wide, but just before half-time Dean Keates added a second goal, and his sixth of the season, with a swerving free-kick from about 25 yards.
County piled on the pressure in the second half but it was not until the 72nd minute that Ross pulled a goal back, and the home defence, in which Chris Westwood was outstanding, held out to clinch the win.
Now, having been knocked out of the FA Cup, Walsall can look forward to a weekend off before they visit Bury a week tomorrow.
It will give Tommy Wright a little more time to settle in with his new team-mates, and he hopes to make a good enough impression during his two-month loan spell to perhaps clinch a permanent deal with Money's men.
Did he expect a red card when the referee called him over following his second challenge on the County keeper? "No," he replied. "The only reason the referee had a word with me was because the County fans got on his back. I would have been disappointed if he had sent me off."
WALSALL (4-4-2): Ince; Westwood, Dann, Roper, Taylor; M Wright (Bedeau, 61), Kinsella, Dobson, Keates; T Wright (Sam, 86), Butler. Subs: Bossu, Demontagnac, Bradley.
NOTTS COUNTY (4-4-2): Pilkington; Silk (Gleeson, 81), White, Edwards, McCann; Pipe, Smith (McMahon, 81), Ross, Parkinson; Lee, Mendes (Dudfield, 67). Subs: Deeney, Martin.
Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancs).
Bookings: Walsall — T Wright, Butler (fouls); Notts County — McCann (handball), Smith (foul)