Walsall 2 Stockport County 0
Walsall's perfect start to the season continued with a comfortable win over Stockport County.
Martin Butler's second goal in two games, and a thumping header from Ian Roper were enough to see off a limited County side.
It could and should have been more, a lot more, but a combination of desperate defending, the crossbar, and some wasteful finishing kept the game far closer than it had any right to be.
Walsall didn't pay for their profligacy largely due to the visitor's own inadequacies, and, while last year's defensive frailties have been largely removed, Walsall's lack of pace at the back is likely to be exposed by better sides than Stockport County.
The marking at set-pieces also needs work, while Walsall made County pay for their mistakes, the home side were fortunate that Keith Briggs, the County midfielder, headed wide when left unmarked at a corner.
None of which should detract from a fine performance and a second clean sheet in four days.
The second half was a procession of one Walsall chance after another, with Kris Taylor, Butler, and Mark Wright all going close.
Stockport only seriously threatened the Walsall goal once, when Glenn Murray forced a flying save out of Clayton Ince.
By that time though veteran defender Roper had succeeded where the strikers could not, taking full advantage of some non-existent County defending from a corner to score his side's second a minute into the second half.
"I'm very satisfied with the result," said Walsall boss Richard Money.
"I thought for 25-30 minutes we were sensational. It was everything you could ask for as a coach. It's very pleasing to have kept two clean sheets, but I think we showed we can play both sides of the game. We can play when we need too, but we have the strength and the power as well."
Walsall dominated the game to such an extent that they might easily have been three up inside 30 minutes. Hector Sam and Butler were a constant threat upfront and Wright, Anthony Gerrard and Daniel Fox might all have got their names on the score sheet.
It took just 15 minutes for Walsall to take the lead, and they should already been ahead by the time Fox's cross was cleverly flicked on by Sam, and Butler slipped the ball under Jamie Spence.
It was no more than Walsall deserved. Wright might have given his side the lead after a nice one-two with Butler moments earlier, and Gerrard also went close, winning the ball in midfield and firing a shot just wide from 25-yards.
Walsall had several chances to add to their tally, and that they didn't owed a great deal to Stockport County defender Gareth Owen and goalkeeper Jamie Spencer.
Several times Owen had to make last ditch tackles to deny Butler and Sam, while Spencer also made a smart save to deny Butler a second when he latched on to Fox's wicked cross from the left.
As the half wore on Butler continued to cause chaos in the visitor's defence and twice should have done better when given free headers inside the box.
At one-nil there was always the danger that Walsall might regret the missed chances; in future they may well do. Against Stockport County however it was a luxury they could well afford.