Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Walsall 2 Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Walsall 2

Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 0 Walsall 2

Here is our Match Repirt from the Saddlers' League Two trip to Doncaster Rovers.
Walsall made the trip to the Eco-Power Stadium on Friday evening as they took on Doncaster Rovers in their latest League Two outing of the 2022/23 campaign.

Looking to build upon their recent league win over Crawley Town, the Saddlers went into the game full of confidence and with a view to adding to last weekend's FA Cup - Second Round triumph over Carlisle United.

Walsall started the game brightly, seeing plenty of the early ball, without creating much to really test the Doncaster defences.

Rovers grew into the game as it continued, winning the first corner of the contest in the tenth minute, but Hayden White positioned himself well and cleared the danger from the ball into the box.

Sixteen minutes into the match, Walsall saw their first real chance on goal go begging, as Liam Gordon passed the ball to Tom Knowles, who found himself with space to shoot, but his effort from outside the box lacked power, allowing Doncaster shot-stopper, Jonathan Mitchell to make the save.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Jack Earing firing an effort goal-wards from range a minute later, but the Rovers defences stood firm and blocked the shot.

Knowles went close again in the nineteenth minute, as he picked up the ball from Danny Johnson and took aim from inside the area, but the ball failed to find the target, sailing narrowly wide of the upright.

The hosts had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where former Saddler, George Miller saw an effort blocked.

The game settled a little as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating anything to really trouble their opposition defences, though twenty-six minutes in, Liam Bennett did see an effort from outside the area blocked.

Walsall won a corner in the thirty-third minute, as Kyle Knoyle turned the ball out of play, but Isaac Hutchinson's short cross was initially dealt with by the Doncaster defences, before they were awarded a free-kick as Donervon Daniels was adjudged to have fouled Tom Anderson, allowing the home side to clear the danger.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the thirty-seventh minute, allowing Knowles to receive treatment, but the striker was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Doncaster saw much of the ball as we raced towards the break, but were unable to make the possession pay, as the Saddlers defences thwarted any real attack.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores unchanged.

HALF-TIME SCORE
DRFC 0-0 WFC

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and the match got back underway. Doncaster began the second-half brightly, with Max Woltman seeing an effort from outside the area sail wide of the post just two minutes after the re-start.

Rovers continued to enjoy a bright spell, with Adam Clayton crossing the ball into the area in the fifty-first minute, where Tom Anderson was waiting to head home, but his effort from close range sailed high and wide of the target.

Walsall were quick to work the ball up to the other end, and with fifty-two minutes on the clock, the visiting side found the breakthrough, as Hutchinson beat his man and pulled the ball back for Knowles, who fired home.

The hosts looked to restore parity quickly, but Tommy Rowe's fifty-fifth minute effort from thirty-five yards sailed well wide of the target. The side continued to seek an equaliser, with Woltman playing in Harrison Biggins moments later, but the midfielders effort from the centre of the box went wide.

With sixty-one minutes on the clock, Walsall were forced to make their first change of the evening, as injury forced Tom Knowles from the game, with Douglas James-Taylor taking his place.

The Saddlers went close to extending their lead moments after the change was completed, as White played the ball into the path of Earing, whose effort on goal sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Walsall continued to enjoy a bright spell, winning a corner in the sixty-seventh minute, as a James-Taylor effort was turned behind by Ben Close, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the hosts defences were able to clear the danger.

With seventy-one minutes on the clock, Walsall were able to double their advantage, as on loan Mansfield man, Danny Johnson capitalised on a defensive error and drove into space before taking the ball round the 'keeper and coolly slotting home.

Doncaster responded to the goal by making their first change of the evening, as Ben Close made way for Kyle Hurst.

Just six minutes later, with seventy-eight minutes on the clock, Rovers opted to make two further changes to their line-up, with James Maxwell and Max Woltman being replaced by Jon Taylor and Kieran Agard.

Agard was quick to get involved in the action, as, just one minute after his introduction into the game, an effort from outside the area was parried by Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans, into the path of the substitute, whose shot sailed high over the crossbar.

The hosts continued to press, as they looked to get back into the game, but after some good play from Ro-Shaun Williams to work the ball to him, Hurst fired high and wide from the edge of the area.

Six minutes from time, the Saddlers chose to make two further changes to their side, with Jack Earing and Danny Johnson making way for Brandon Comley and former Rovers man Andy Williams.

Doncaster were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position in the eighty-eighth minute, which Adam Clayton played into the area for Williams, whose headed effort sailed high and wide of the target.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Walsall won a corner. The ball was played into the area by Hutchinson from the flag-kick, but Williams was unable to find the target with his headed effort.

The hosts went on to win a free-kick in a dangerous spot two minutes into those added, from which Clayton found the inside of the post and was unlucky not to reduce the deficit, but that would ultimately prove to be the final action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-nil.

FULL-TIME SCORE
DRFC 0-2 WFC


KNOWLES (52')
JOHNSON (71')
AT ECO-POWER STADIUM
ATTENDANCE 6,110 (609 WALSALL)
REFEREE SIMON MATHER
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