Walsall scraped a narrow 2-1 win over 10-man Exeter to clinch their first victory in nine attempts and ease their worries at the bottom of League One.

The Saddlers were two goals ahead and coasting when Exeter centre-back Troy Archibald-Henville was sent off for a second bookable offence a minute from half-time.

But Exeter, now beaten only three times in 11 league games, fought back splendidly in the second-half, pulled a goal back through top scorer Ryan Harley in the 53rd minute and were a shade unlucky not to salvage a point.

With five loan signings in their line-up including impressive debutants Martin Devaney and Andrew Davies, Walsall were looking for only their third win of the season.

And they took the lead in the 32nd minute when a defensive mistake by Exeter's David Noble let in Jon Macken whose low cross was driven home by Reuben Reid for his fourth goal since joining on loan from West Brom.

It looked all over when Matt Richards headed Walsall's second from a cross by Devaney, and the dismissal of Archibald-Henville should have made the home team's task easy.

But Harley bagged his eighth of the season for Exeter to start a brave fightback by the visitors and in stoppage time substitute John O'Flynn was unlucky to see his volley skim the bar.

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