THE SADDLERS were back on the road following two successive home games as we headed north to Rochdale and a first visit to Spotland since March 2012.
The first opening of the game saw Romaine Sawyers fire over from distance with five minutes on the clock.
Moments later at the other end, Matt Done cut through the Walsall rear-guard to fire home with a low effort and open the scoring for the home side.
After another Sawyers effort went over and O'Donnell was forced to make a couple of clearances outside his area, the home side went close as Done did well on the right and his cross found Peter Vincenti who was just off target.
The second goal arrived for Dale on the half-hour mark when a free-kick from Scott Tanser was curled in for Ashley Eastham to glance a header home.
A loose back-pass saw O'Donnell come to the rescue with a block but the next raid saw Ian Henderson cut through and make no mistake for 3-0.
As the clock ticked down in the opening period, Sawyers saw his low strike pushed out by the 'keeper.
It was to be the last action of a thoroughly disappointing half for The Saddlers as we went in three goals down.
The second half started with Andy Taylor making positive forward strides but no one was able to profit from his cross.
At the other end, Henderson was unlucky with an effort from distance that hit the woodwork.
There was a first change for Walsall on 62 minutes as Kieron Morris replaces Clifford.
The home side were presented with a chance courtesy of a rather fortunate deflection but they fired wide from a good position.
With 20 minutes to go, Stephen Dawson got in a strike at goal that went in courtesy of a wicked deflection off Andy Butler to make it 4-0.
There was a change in the wake of the goal as Manset was replaced by former Dale man, Ashley Grimes.
A stinging strike from Flanagan was parried by the 'keeper who then did well to deny Forde with an acrobatic save.
Matty Done twists and turns but fires over for Dale as they look to add to their score.
That was to be the end of the scoring as The Saddlers succumbed to a 4-0 reverse.