THE nasally vowels from behind the press box were pure Peaky Blinders: “Why won’t they shoot? This is going nowhere fast again.”

Thomas or Arthur Shelby would have taken matters into their own hands to get a more direct response.

The long-suffering Walsall faithful simply sat there and grumbled loudly as their goal drought dragged on.

You sensed the complaints of those shouting within earshot had been heard before.

It was familiar ground for the Saddlers who have scored just once in their last seven games.

But even in such shot-shy company, those of a City persuasion could never afford to relax.

The ghosts of David Hopkin and Stuart McCall lingered in every corner of a stadium that has become something of a haunted house for the Bantams in recent years.

It was at the Bescot where McCall’s City blew a three-goal lead to hang on for a draw two seasons ago.

And then the scene of the crime for the 3-2 loss against 10 men in February that convinced Hopkin that he could not carry on.

Walsall had gone into that game on the back of five defeats in a row – and that was before having their centre forward sent off in the opening minutes.

So recent form – or lack of it – would have been wisely dismissed as a red herring by those in the away end.

As the fourth official put up the board displaying four added minutes, you wondered if there was another fright in store.

Let’s face it, City had seen an acceptable-looking effort chalked off at the start and James Vaughan had blazed a penalty over the bar at a trajectory matching that of Alan Sheehan’s “lunar” miss at York a few years back.

Having finally then got their noses in front, it would have been typical if the spirits of Walsall past had returned to spook the Bantams one more time.

But Gary Bowyer’s team are showing they don’t scare easily.

The phrase “we would have lost that last season” is a convenient catch-all; but Saturday felt like another example.

Winning when not playing well is an asset for any side with lofty ambitions. No team are going to be on point every week.

And to do it when you’ve had one ruled out and wasted a spot-kick when not being on top of your game shows, in the post-match words of Shay McCartan, that this side have “nuts”.

A week on from the first come-from-behind win for 20 months, City once again got the job done. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how.

All will agree that performances are still to convince from a 50 per cent win rate since returning to League Two.

But Bowyer has instilled fight and courage into a team that displayed precious little of either during the previous wretched season.

New personnel have brought a new mindset, even if there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Central midfield remains the questionable area - Callum Cooke is surely up to speed for that first start against Cheltenham - but while City never established firm control on Walsall, they managed to find a way to get over the line.

The decisive goal summed that up. While James Vaughan was trying to convince anyone who would listen that he had got the final touch and a fourth of the season, it appeared that the only contact from the moment Harry Pritchard hurled a throw-in into the box came from Walsall heads.

Three in all as they inadvertently flicked on, kept the ball alive and then buried it in their own net to spark exuberant celebrations at that end.

Walsall skipper James Clarke had buttered up Vaughan and Clayton Donaldson in the programme by describing them as the best strike partnership in the division.

It seemed that he would suffer close-up evidence of that when Vaughan had the ball in the net from birthday boy Pritchard’s corner after just seven minutes.

But referee Anthony Backhouse silenced the celebrations after deciding keeper Liam Roberts had been illegally boxed in. Considering City had two men in front of him and none behind, it seemed a harsh judgement and perplexed the visitors.

Dylan Connolly was a menace on the right but the threat around him was sporadic, Vaughan again having their best chance of the half with a header that Roberts touched on to the post.

Meanwhile, Richard O’Donnell’s excellent start to the season continued at the other end as he shot out a powerful left arm to deny Caolan Lavery from Walsall’s first hint of danger.

It was a trick the City stopper would repeat after the break to deny Rory Gaffney to ensure his latest return to the club that first made his name was much happier than seven months earlier.

O’Donnell’s transformation is another example of that change in attitude around the place.

Heavily criticised for his poor form as the team hurtled towards the inevitable drop, he has rebuilt his game.

A more confident figure under the tutelage of keeper coach John Vaughan, he is playing with an air of command and calm authority that has completely changed public opinion.

Bowyer switched shape midway through the second half with the introduction of McCartan and Cooke. For the second week running, the changes had a lively impact.

Vaughan bore down on Walsall’s goal from Connor Wood’s lump over the top, centre half Dan Scarr totally lost his bearings and manhandled the striker to the ground.

Walsall argued that the foul was outside the box and the point of contact did look borderline – but there was no dispute with the spot-kick which soared high into the City fans.

At that precise moment, news filtered through that Eoin Doyle had scored his second of the afternoon for Swindon – and seventh in all from his increasingly-prolific loan.

As Walsall tried to make the most of their unexpected lifeline, the knives were being sharpened on social media.

But Vaughan, and City, dusted themselves off from a disappointment that would have knocked the stuffing out of last season's lot.

Whether the skipper got the faintest brush on the winner or not, his talismanic presence had its effect as Liam Kinsella was suitably panicked enough to head past his own keeper.

Vaughan made a beeline for the corner flag for his trademark goal routine and pyrotechnic-led mayhem erupted in the stand.

The Bantams had another ugly three points in the bag and it felt wonderful. Style doesn't come into it.