Full-time: Walsall 1 Scunthorpe United 4
Scunthorpe United's first league match since the return of Brian Laws produced their most emphatic victory of the season – six years to the day he left Glanford Park to take charge at Sheffield Wednesday.
Having failed to score from a set piece all season, hard work on the training ground paid dividends for the Iron as Niall Canavan headed home his side's first and third goals from corners on an excellent night's work in the West Midlands.
Mark Duffy scored the second, with a simple finish at the back post, and striker Leon Clarke bagged the eighth goal of his loan spell from Charlton Athletic in a move of great composure to round off the win.
The scoreline was made even more impressive by the fact the visitors played the whole of the second half with 10 men after David Prutton had been sent off for a foul on Adam Chambers right on the stroke of the break.
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Laws made four changes to the side beaten at Gillingham three days earlier in the FA Cup, altering the spine of his team.
Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall replaced Sam Slocombe 24 hours after joining the club on loan from Millwall while Clarke and Prutton returned in midfield and up front respectively, in place of Mike Grella and Michael Collins.
The other change was in the centre of defence, where David Mirfin failed to overcome the injury he picked up late on at Gillingham, meaning a recall for Canavan.
Be it down to personnel or attitude, the starting line-up was not the only thing to change at the Banks's Stadium.
The Iron's performance was streets ahead of anything witnessed in recent weeks as they moved the ball around the field with pace and purpose, while also working equally as hard at closing down their hosts.
Such pressure forced an early opening for United, but Karl Hawley mis-kicked from Clarke's low cross into the box after the duo had combined to seize possession.
Scunthorpe spent much of Monday practising set pieces and were rewarded for their effort when Canavan leapt above his marker at the back post to power Duffy's flag kick into the back of the net.
Having already made a determined start, the goal settled the visitors down further.
And after Hawley had squandered the chance to make it 2-0 when he delayed his shot, which was then blocked by former Iron defender Andy Butler, United did make their dominance count in the 31st minute.
Andy Barcham, lively out on the left flank, rolled a ball inside from the edge of the box and when Hawley's scuffed effort was scrambled away by Walsall keeper David Grof, Duffy nipped in to guide it home.
It was the first time in 29 matches Scunthorpe had managed to score two goals before half-time.
Such was the Iron's superiority; the Saddlers took until the 37th minute to muster their first effort at goal.
As a result, Jake Jones' strike from 30 yards, which flew well wide, was greeted by ironic cheers from a frustrated home crowd.
Just when it looked like Scunthorpe would be able to reflect on a perfect opening 45 minutes, Prutton needlessly put his side in a difficult position with United's fourth sending off of the season.
He went in for a 50-50 ball with Adam Chambers in the centre circle, but the challenge left the Walsall man grounded and referee Tony Harrington quickly brandished the red card.
Saddlers boss Dean Smith sent on striker Will Grigg for the second half to go with two men up front and try to capitalise on his side's numerical advantage.
Their hopes of a comeback though were all but ended as early as four minutes after the restart, when another Duffy corner from the left landed on the head of Canavan, who doubled his tally for the night.
Although woefully lacking in composure, and a cutting edge, Walsall did threaten briefly.
Twice in two minutes James Baxendale went close, on the first occasion lashing in a shot which Mildenhall brilliantly pushed away one-handed before then firing across the face of goal from a tight angle.
Scunthorpe's drive and effort made it difficult to tell they were down to 10 men.
So too did their attacking play and when substitute Callum Kennedy put Clarke through on goal in the 75th minute, he cleverly flicked the ball over Grof before following up and knocking it in from almost on the goal line.
Hopes of a morale-boosting clean sheet for the visitors were ended a minute into stoppage time, when Grigg beat Mildenhall from just inside the box.
But as results and performances go, this was light years better than anything that has gone before this season.
WALSALL: Grof, Taundry, Butler, Holden, J Chambers, A Chambers (Benning 65), Featherstone, Baxendale (Williams 81), Paterson, Jones (Grigg 46), Bowerman. Subs: Walker, Hemmings, Morris, Downing.
SCUNTHORPE: Mildenhall, Ribeiro, Reid, Canavan, Newey, Duffy (Ryan 87), Walker (Mozika 78), Prutton, Barcham (Kennedy 65), Hawley, Clarke. Subs: Slocombe, Grella, Jennings, Gibbons.
ATTENDANCE: 2,787 (126 away).