Northampton 0-1 Walsall: Darrell Clarke wins first game as Walsall manager
Last Updated: 03/08/19 8:14pm
Darrell Clarke made a winning start to life as Walsall manager after James Clarke scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory at Northampton.
Summer signing Clarke netted just 13 minutes into his Saddlers debut and his well-taken header proved the difference with Northampton guilty of missing several chances.
Cobblers named nine debutants in their team but it was Walsall who struck first when Clarke turned in Danny Guthrie's corner via the crossbar.
Northampton came back strong and only some fine goalkeeping by Liam Roberts denied them an equaliser as he kept out close-range efforts from both Sam Hoskins and Charlie Goode.
Mat Sadler's last-ditch defending also prevented Harry Smith from scoring as Walsall maintained their lead through to half-time.
The visitors threatened a second in the early moments after the break with Stuart Sinclair seeing a shot blocked and David Cornell standing firm from Cameron Pring.
Northampton pushed for an equaliser but Hoskins blazed over and Joe Martin's free-kick dropped wide before Roberts preserved all three points for his side with a brilliant late stop from Goode.