The Saddlers took their chances as they defeated Oxford United 2-1 with goals from their Sierra Leonean striker Amadou Bakayoko and Erhun Oztumer on Saturday, to registered their first win in six matches.

Against the run of play, Walsall took the lead after 33 minutes as Luke Leahy drilled across the six-yard box for Amadou Bakayoko to bundle home the opener his first in the new year.

The home side doubled their lead shortly after the restart in the 48 minutes as Erhun Oztumer comfortably benefiting from Leahy’s long ball.

The visitors were back in it on 70 minutes as Alex Mowatt curled home a fine free-kick from just outside the box, but his goal was not enough to nick a point away from home.

The Saddlers next English League One outing is away to Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Walsall (4-1-4-1): L Roberts, Kinsella, K Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy, Chambers, Oztumer (T Roberts 86), Dobson (Cuvelier 77), Flanagan (Morris 46), Edwards, Bakayoko.

Subs not used: Gillespie, Devlin, Kouhyar, Jackson.

Oxford United (4-4-2): Eastwood, Tiendalli, Mousinho, Martin, Carroll, Henry (van Kessel 79), Mowatt, Ruffels, Payne (Napa 68), Thomas (Mehmeti 75), Obika.

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