Express & Star

Walsall 3 Doncaster 1 - Report

Walsall climbed into sixth place as they defeated Doncaster Rovers 3-1 at Bescot to extend their winning streak to five matches.

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Josh Gordon opened the scoring with a bullet header in the 18th minute to open his goal scoring account for the season.

Kyle Hurst levelled on 62 minutes with a free header from Jamie Sterry's cross, but Walsall responded quickly as Jack Earing fired his side back ahead.

Mo Faal rose to the challenge on his Rovers return as he climbed highest at the near post to nod in a third against his former club.

Walsall had the better of the opening exchanges, which delivered little in terms of goal scoring opportunities. The first chance produced the first goal when Liam Gordon won the ball down the left and delivered a pinpoint cross for Josh Gordon to escape his marker and guide his header into the far corner.

His opener was his 50th career goal and ended a goal drought which dated back to his hat-trick in a 4-0 win for Barrow against Crawley Town in April last year.

Josh Gordon scores

Doncaster almost gifted Walsall a second when a mix-up led to Tom Anderson heading the ball beyond goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala but the Rovers defender recovered to clear off the line with Matt following up.

Matt almost got in on the act when Tom Knowles drilled a powerful ball across the six-yard box but his delivery slipped just underneath the forward;s feet.

Rovers had their best period just before the break and came close to finding a leveller. Jackson Smith clawed a knock down from Hakeeb Adelakun's corner into the danger area but Walsall scrambled the ball behind after the ball dropped invitingly for Joe Ironside.

Emmanuel Adegboyega, fresh on the back of scoring three goals in his first four EFL appearances, ventured forward to strike wide from distance.

Mat Sadler made an early second half change with the introduction of Mo Faal against his former club.

Josh Gordon celebrates his goal

Hutchinson had a golden chance to double Walsall's advantage when he found himself clean through on goal but Lo-Tutala emerged to win the battle of wits and foil him.

Matt also blazed over from Hutchinson's cutback but Doncaster punished Walsall's missed chances when Hurst equalised just past the hour.

Jack Earing and Owen Bailey

Maxwell was afforded far too much space to manouver inside before he released Sterry down the right. His cross was perfectly flighted for Hurst to bury a free header beyond Smith from close-range.

Walsall took just five minutes to restore their lead when Doncaster's clearance from Hutchinson's corner dropped invitingly for Earing to lash an emphatic effort through a sea of bodies and into the far corner.

Faal was not given the warmest of welcomes by the away section but he sent Bescot into raptures when he added a third 10 minutes from time.

Taylor Allen delivered a brilliant corner to the near post and Faal beat his marker to the ball to head past Lo-Tutala from just three or four yards.

Jamille Matt and Joe Ironside

Walsall will have a rare free week between now and their next fixture against Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn Stadium next Saturday.

Walsall (3-1-4-2): Smith; Adegboyega, Okagbue, Allen; Comley; Knowles, Hutchinson (Tierney 90 +4), Earing (Stirk 90+4), L Gordon; J Gordon (Faal 54), Matt (James-Taylor 87).

Not used: Evans, Riley, Foulkes.

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Lo-Tutala; Sterry, Anderson, Wood (Olowu 82), Maxwell (Rowe 75); Bailey (Westbrooke 75), Craig; Hurst (Waters 75), Biggins (Biamou 82), Adelakun; Ironside.

Not used: Jones, Broadbent.

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 7,118 (461)