A lively encounter at the Banks’s Stadium as Walsall suffer their first defeat of the season against Doncaster Rovers.
Rovers started the brightest with Danny Andrew’s free-kick being palmed away by Liam Roberts after four minutes. Walsall then went close after nine minutes when Josh Ginnelly curled inches wide from 18 yards.
The Saddlers then took the lead in the 17th minute after Doncaster captain Andy Butler’s mistimed header set up Morgan Ferrier to head into the roof of the net.
After the Saddlers' domination, Rovers were then awarded a penalty after 30 minutes when Walsall full-back Luke Leahy handled a high ball. Doncaster striker John Marquis converted the resultant penalty kick, sending Liam Roberts the wrong way. The Walsall fans vehemently voiced their disapproval of the referee's decision as the game turned lively.
Minor commotions start to occur all over the pitch as the referee started to lose control of the game.
The Saddlers had the chance to go into the lead just before the break when Morgan Ferrier’s strike was kept out by Marosi.
Walsall started the better of both sides after half-time with Kieron Morris and Morgan Ferrier going close.
Doncaster then took the lead in the 58th minute when the Walsall defence failed to close down Malik Wilks who drilled the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
James Coppinger then extended Doncaster’s lead eight minutes later when Walsall’s defence again failed to close down Ferrier, laying the ball off to Coppinger who exquisitely finished into the top right-hand corner.
The technical area started to get heated towards the end of the game with Saddlers boss Dean Keates being awarded a yellow card for trying to get the ball off Malik Wilks.
Doncaster then added a fourth goal to their tally, four minutes from the end, when Matty Blair fired the ball into the top right-hand corner after Alfie May’s shot was initially saved by Liam Roberts.
After the game, Walsall boss Dean Keates admitted that his team were not good enough against Rovers.
"We weren’t good enough. We have to look after ourselves – and we weren’t good enough in the first half.
“There was no tempo there and we didn’t play. We didn’t keep the ball on the turnover, we didn’t make any passes.
“We had a little bit more about us in the second half but we didn’t keep our emotions in check.”
Walsall must feel hard done by because if they had taken their chances then they could have got something out of the game. However, Doncaster’s experience and maturity outwitted Walsall’s youth and won them the match.
I thoroughly enjoyed reporting at the match and I am thankful for the opportunity Walsall FC have given me. Hopefully one day I can return to this family friendly club to report again.