SHEFFIELD United boss Nigel Clough could not hide his frustration after his side saw their impressive eight-game unbeaten run ended.
The Blades took a deserved 17th-minute lead thanks to Chris Porter’s clinical strike from Stephen McGinn’s low cross.
But defender Harry Maguire was adjudged to have felled Andy Butler in his own box and Craig Westcarr leveled from the penalty spot for the hosts seven minutes after the break at the Bescot Stadium.
And to add insult to injury, having conceded a controversial spot-kick, James Chambers then popped up to bag the winner 10 minutes later for the home side.
It was the former Doncaster Rovers defender’s first goal since November 2004 when he scored a double for his old club Watford.
“It’s frustrating because we had a good start to the game and didn’t capitalise on the first goal,” reflected Clough after his side’s first away defeat in five games.
“But we’ve been on a good run and, as much as we’d like it to have continued, they don’t last forever.
“We’ll bounce back from this performance, there were a lot of pleasing aspects as well.”
Victory was the Saddlers’ first for three matches and denied the previously in-form Blades the chance to climb the table.
Former Chesterfield marksman Westcarr gave the hosts the opportunity to snatch a win with his 11th goal of the season and first for seven games.
The Blades had chances to at least take a share of the spoils but couldn’t get a second goal.
Walsall: O’Donnell, J Chambers, Downing, Butler, Taylor, Baxendale (Westcarr 45), A Chambers, Mantom, Lalkovic (Hemmings 84), Sawyers, Hewitt (Gray 77). Unused substitutes: Purkiss, Featherstone, Lewis, Benning.
Sheffield United: Long, McMahon, Collins, Maguire, Hill, Coady, McGinn (Murphy 68), Baxter (Miller 68), Doyle, Flynn (Brandy 85), Porter. Unused substitutes: Howard, Cuvelier, Lappin, Kennedy.
Referee: L Collins (Surrey).