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Match Reports

Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Walsall

2 December 2022

Match Reports

Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 0-2 Walsall

2 December 2022

The Saddlers continued their recent run of good form with an important victory against Doncaster Rovers at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Tom Knowles and Danny Johnson got themselves on the scoresheet in the second half as we capped off a professional away performance in Yorkshire.

Michael Flynn made two changes to the side that secured victory against Carlisle United in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round last Saturday. Jack Earing and Liam Bennett came back into the starting XI in place of Brandon Comley and Jacob Maddox, who were named amongst the substitutes.

There was little to go by in the opening minutes as both sides looked to put their stamp on the game in what was a bitter cold evening in Yorkshire.

The first shot on target came on 16 minutes when Liam Gordon fed the ball to Knowles who did well to come inside from the right and drive into space before taking aim, but his effort was collected with ease by Jonathan Mitchell in the Rovers net.

Shortly after and the Saddlers came close to opening the scoring. A brilliant piece of play saw a ball from the right find Knowles who chested the ball into Johnson and he in turn delivered a ball into the near post back to Knowles who flicked it goalwards, but his effort went just past the post from close range.

The remainder of the half saw limited clear-cut chances as both defences were resolute and compact and restricted their opponents of any opportunities.

Michael Flynn’s side came out in the second half and opened the scoring on 52 minutes with a slick counter-attack. Isaac Hutchinson did excellently to skip past Ro-Shaun Williams in the Rovers half and drove towards the box before pulling the ball back to Knowles who converted from close range to give us the lead.

Shortly after breaking the deadlock, Knowles took a knock and was unable to continue and was replaced by Douglas James-Taylor.

Flynn’s side were eager to grab a second and worked the ball around well. Hayden White did brilliantly to win the ball back and drove into space before setting up Earing on the edge of the box but his effort was off target.

Minutes later and Bennett, who was causing havoc all game on the right-hand side, beat his man and delivered a ball into the path of James-Taylor who controlled well before taking aim at goal with a curled effort which in turn was deflected and dipped over the bar.

The Saddlers pressed well throughout the game and their persistence with this paid off on 71 minutes as Johnson dispossessed Williams in the Rovers half and had all the time in the world as he drove towards goal and went around Mitchell before guiding the ball into an empty net – queue pandemonium in the away end.

The hosts began to up the ante and almost halved the deficit on 79 minutes as a shot from outside the area was parried out by Owen Evans but into the path of Kieran Agard who had the goal at his mercy but the forward blazed the rebound over the bar. Kyle Hurst then latched onto a pass from Williams minutes later and fired towards goal but his effort lacked conviction and was no trouble for the Saddlers backline.

Flynn made further changes as the game reached its conclusion as Comley and Andy Williams came on in place of Earing and Johnson.

Into added time and Rovers had a free-kick on their left-hand side which was delivered towards the back-post and fortunately for Evans it cannoned back off the post and was eventually cleared away from the danger.

The Saddlers maintained their shape and managed the game well as the final whistle was eventually blown, bringing an end to what was a professional away performance and three valuable points.

Attendance: 6110 (609 away)

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