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15:00 27th September 2014
By  Andrew Poole


THE SADDLERS returned to home soil after two games on the road for the visit of Doncaster Rovers.

It was a bright start by Dean Smith's side who put the pressure on straight away with Anthony Forde seeing two efforts blocked well by the Rovers' defence.

Some positive running from James Baxendale saw him find fellow former Rover, James O'Connor whose teasing cross was scrambled clear. The next raid saw Bradshaw do well to get the ball in and this time it found its way over to Forde who, once again, had his strike blocked.

A searching ball from Paul Downing set Adam Chambers off in chase to win a corner, which was cleared at the near post as far as O'Connor whose high ball back into the danger zone was well claimed by Jed Steer.

A foul on Baxendale gave Walsall a free-kick out wide and a good delivery from Forde found the head of Downing who was narrowly wide of the target.

The visitors were forced to change their 'keeper on the half-hour as Jed Steer left the field through injury to be replaced by 20 year-old Slovakian Marko Marosi who was making his first senior outing.

There were a lack of chances at either end until stoppage time at the end of the opening period when a well-worked free-kick for Walsall was played short to Sawyers who pulled the ball across into the path of Baxendale who fired home to make it 1-0 right on the stroke of half-time!

The early action of the second period saw Theo Robinson fire over for the visitors before Bradshaw went down under pressure inside the area at the other end but nothing was given.

With 55 minutes on the clock, Billy Clifford replaced Reece Flanagan and after Forde had a strike that was saved, the advantage was doubled when that man, Bradshaw was on hand to turn home a cross from the right by Sawyers to make it 2-0.

The third goal came soon afterwards when a foul on Bradshaw as he looked to break through the middle gave The Saddlers a free-kick in a good position which went in off the post from Forde.

A neat ball from Clifford found Bradshaw who made room for a strike which was straight at the 'keeper. At the other end, a foul on the edge of the area by O'Connor gave the visitors a free-kick which saw the ball strike the wall and go over from Coppinger.

There was a double change on 83 minutes as Mathieu Manset and Ashley Grimes came on for Romaine Sawyers and Tom Bradshaw respectively.

A superb ball in from the left by Taylor was met with a diving header from Manset that flew just over.

The Saddlers well in command during the second period and ran out very worthy and comfortable winners in the end.


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.