Doncaster Rovers (H) Sep 15th, 3pm


"Bonnie White Rose"

It’s a racing certainty that very few Saddlers supporters would have forecast Walsall to start this season with a 7-game unbeaten run, but that (incredibly) is our current position. In trying to preserve this position we welcome Grant McCann’s Doncaster Rovers outfit, who are probably the strongest opponents to visit the Banks’s’s’ so far. The only factor keeping them below the play-off zone is goal difference, and with Andy Butler (referred to as “One of our own” on their message board) in their side we can bank on facing skilful and determined opposition. Officially Andy is their vice-captain, but with captain Tommy Rowe currently out injured for 10 weeks it seems that the armband will be worn by the ex-Saddler. Leading goalscorers are John Marquis and Mallik Wilks, with 3 apiece … Rovers’ League One current form looks like this:-

Aug 11 Wycombe Wanderers (H) Won 3-0
Aug 18 Burton Albion (A) Lost 1-0
Aug 21 Shrewsbury Town (H) Drew 0-0
Aug 25 Portsmouth (H) Drew 0-0
Sep 1 Peterborough Utd (A) Drew 1-1
Sep 8 Luton Town (H) Won 2-1

(It’s worth noting that the draw at Peterborough represents the only League One points dropped by Posh so far…)

Dean Keates is faced with the conundrum of deciding which 11 of his squad of winners to select for this one, and although certain players have “nailed on” places, there is certainly room for manoeuvre in the Midfield and Striking departments. Andy Cook demonstrated his value to the side by coming on for an end-of-game cameo at Barnsley and scoring, and the thinking may well be that his current level of fitness is best suited to that role. Zeli Ismail may well be fit for this game, and Kieron Morris will no doubt have been knocking on Dean Keates’ door and putting his case for selection. The team spirit is there in spades, and (as the old saying goes) success breeds success - it’s staggeringly obvious that players who were regulars under Jon Whitney have significantly upped their game under Dean’s management, and long may that continue!

Prediction? As with the Barnsley game (which I did say would end up 1-1) :wink: I think this one will be more of a challenge than many people think. Obviously 3 points would be very welcome, but a draw will give us another valuable point, and a record of Played 8, Won 4, Drawn 4, Lost 0 is fine by me … let’s say another 1-1, with Ferrier getting on the scoresheet?


We’ve won 7 (seven) on the bounce against Donny, they really don’t like playing us and have been on a revenge mission since 2012.

That typed, McCann seems to have them well set this term, and that draw at Posh stands out, however the loss at a struggling early season Burton suggests they aren’t as consistent as their results imply.

If we run through brick walls again we should have too much for them. Would like to see Cook and Butler going toe-to-toe, but it really is a guess as to how we’ll line up. Quality selection headaches. We have at least 3 best XIs!


2-0 Walsall. First clean sheet of the season. Butler to get a heroes welcome.


3-2 to Walsall! Well, perhaps…


Donny were super inconsistent last season. I think this is an important match, after our recent up and down results (Blackpool, Macclesfield, Burton, Barnsley), we need to kick-on if we are to convert our early promise into something special. Saying all that, I’m not convinced about the 3 points.


Yep. Opportunity to play to our strengths and employ that rapid attacking play we seem so adept at.

Excited for this one!


I’ve gone from super excited/can’t wait for the next game to utterly dejected. Why?
A previously unknown (by me anyway) family commitment means I can’t make the game - to say I am gutted is an understatement .
Other half says I could just stay until half time then come away - I haven’t left a match early since we got thrashed by Chelsea under Tommy Coakley!
Anyway, predictions - as I’m not going to be there to see it it’s bound to be 6 - 0 to us, Ferrier and Cook with hat tricks with me spontaneously combusting in an Indian restaurant somewhere in Walsall.
You heard it here first.


This is my worry, we have to lose one eventually!


Can our run against Donny continue? They are in good form…1-1 for me.


Yes it looks the most likely result doesn’t it?
I’m hoping to complete my attendance at this Yorkshire double with last week.
No monsoon this time though please.

I think we’ll just get 10m at the end of Cook and Butler going at it, like last week.
The prospect of Ferrier running at him for 80m is far more appealling.

I don’t mind who scores, they are all playing well.
And I haven’t said that for about three years.
I love the fact we are still unbeaten (penalties don’t count)


Barnwell, I think. Coakley had gone by then.

1-0 Walsall. Again the odds reflect that punters haven’t absorbed Walsall’s transformation. Best odds WFC 2/1-Doncaster 13/8.


Gutted to be missing this one (■■■■■■■ birthday meals :rage:)

Think we’ll win convincingly. 3-0. Ferrier (2) and Fitzwater.


Looking forward to it, so much so that myself and a fellow Saddler at work were comparing potential starting line ups on Monday morning!

I think it’ll be similar to when Gillingham, 2-1 victory with the difference being Donny will equalise before we get the winner in the last 10 mins.

Ferrier and a Ronan winner on his home debut, possibly from the bench.


You off for a curry with BeardyBob? :joy:


That’s a very good point. Pace could be our key to thumping Doncaster again.


I stand corrected - Coakley/Barnwell, we were crap that day either way.


That sounds a hell of a lot more appealing than the meal I’m actually attending :joy:


Hoping for a better performance than against Blackpool and break the cycle of back to back league draws.

2-1 win after going behind to a sloppy goal.

Goals from Cook and Devlin


A comfortable 3-0 victory with Cookie getting a brace and Ferrier getting the other, Butler was an excellent servant for us and will rightly get a warm welcome however I can see cookie giving him a hard time in the air and the pace of Ferrier punishing him and his teammates.


Think it’ll be a tough game - but I say that most weeks!
Doncaster are no mugs though, unbeaten against both Portsmouth and Posh shows they definitely have something about them. I’d take a draw and that’s how I see it going. 1-1.