An afternoon to forget for Doncaster Rovers in the West Midlands.
Walsall 3 (Baxendale 45+2, Bradshaw 56, Forde 63)
Doncaster Rovers 0
Banks’s Stadium, Walsall
Saturday 27th September 2014
Sky Bet League One
It was the hosts that started the brightest in this Sky Bet League 1 clash at the Banks’s Stadium, with plenty of possession in the opening 5 minutes, Bradshaw’s tame shot on the turn had the fizz taken out of it and was collected easily by Steer in the Rovers goal.
Harry Forrester had Rovers best effort of the opening 20 minutes, finding space to shoot 22 yards out, his dipping effort had the keeper scrambling but went wide at the base of O’Donnell’s left hand post.
Shortly after, Evina conceded a free kick and was booked by the referee after blocking a quick free kick. The resulting delivery lead to Forde headed past post.
On 29 minutes Rovers were forced into a substitution Marko Marosi replaced Jed Steer in the Rovers goal unable to continue after colliding with a Walsall player collecting an earlier cross through a crowded penalty area.
There were no notable chances late in the first half but after the board went up for 2 minutes added time a short Walsall free kick was crossed by Sawyers and Baxendale took it nicely onto his left foot and put it past Marosi to score against his former club.
Half Time - Walsall 1 Doncaster Rovers 0
Rovers looked to start the second half brightly with Robinson’s thunderous long-range effort going just over the bar.
Walsall in the next attack had a penalty shout after a coming together between Bradshaw & Evina, the referee S. Mathieson waved away the appeal.
A series of long-range efforts followed for the hosts but they doubled their lead on 56 minutes as Sawyers’ low cross was played beautifully into the path of Bradshaw to side foot it home to double Walsall’s advantage.
A sloppy free kick 19 yards out conceded by Rovers allowed Forde’s to take an excellent free kick on 63 minutes. He curled the ball over the wall striking the left hand post and bouncing past Marosi to nestle into the back of the net making to three-nil to the Saddlers.
A tackle out of frustration by Furman on Chambers meant the referee produced the 2nd yellow card of the game, shortly followed by James O’Connor for a foul on Forrester. His challenge on the edge of the area stoped Forrester who was looking threatening running at the Walsall defence.
Manset, shortly after coming on was presented with a golden opportunity to get on the score sheet. The cross from the left was on a plate for the giant Walsall forward but from 8 yard he headed over.
A late string of corners were defended well by Rovers but it was all too little too late as the referee blew the whistle on an afternoon to forget in the West Midlands.
Full Time - Walsall 3 Doncaster Rovers 0
Rovers: Steer (Marosi, 29), Evina, Furman, McCombe, Robinson, Forrester, McCullough, Keegan (Peterson, 61), Wabara, Bennett (Wellens, 54), Coppinger ©
Subs not used – Wakefield, De Val, Lund, Ferguson.
Cautions – Evina (26) Furman (75).
Walsall: O’Donnell, Taylor, O’Connor, Downing, A Chambers © Bradshaw (Grimes, 83), Sawyers (Manset, 83), Baxendale, Flanagan (Clifford, 54), Forde, Butler.
Subs not used – Benning, J Chambers, Cook, MacGillivray.
Cautions – O’Connor (76).
Attendance – 3741 (479 Away)