League One
Walsall3Bristol Rovers1

Walsall 3-1 Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers' travel sickness continued as their League One play-off bid was hit by a sixth-straight away defeat at Walsall.

Goals from on-loan Celtic defender Eoghan O'Connell, Simeon Jackson and Joe Edwards ensured that Matty Taylor's late response was mere consolation.

Walsall keeper Neil Etheridge made two excellent saves in the first half, foiling Billy Bodin's curler and Chris Lines' fierce 20-yard free-kick.

The Saddlers only had one real first-half chance and they took it, right on the stroke of half-time, O'Connell pouncing on Lines' loose header to lash home a volley from six yards.

Rovers could have levelled on 57 minutes as Ollie Clarke's low cross found the Pirates' top scorer Taylor unmarked 12 yards out but he fired straight at Etheridge.

That miss proved costly as Walsall doubled their lead on 68 minutes, substitute Jackson collecting Florent Cuvelier's ball over the top to sublimely chip debutant keeper Joe Lumley.

Walsall put the game beyond doubt on 73 minutes, Edwards robbing Byron Moore before coolly slotting beyond Lumley.

Taylor pulled one back on 82 minutes, heading home his 16th league goal of the season after Etheridge misjudged a Lee Brown cross, but it was mere consolation for Rovers.

Report supplied by the Press Association.

Line-ups

Walsall

  • 1Etheridge
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4O'Connor
  • 16Preston
  • 32O'Connell
  • 2Edwards
  • 7Chambers
  • 8CuvelierSubstituted forDobsonat 80'minutes
  • 14Osbourne
  • 10OztumerSubstituted forMakrisat 77'minutes
  • 20BakayokoSubstituted forJacksonat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Laird
  • 6Dobson
  • 9Jackson
  • 11Morris
  • 13MacGillivray
  • 24Roberts
  • 33Makris

Bristol Rovers

  • 31Lumley
  • 2LeadbitterSubstituted forMooreat 55'minutes
  • 4Lockyer
  • 15J Clarke
  • 3BrownBooked at 22mins
  • 23BodinSubstituted forJamesat 50'minutes
  • 8O Clarke
  • 14Lines
  • 24Sinclair
  • 10Taylor
  • 30GaffneySubstituted forBroomat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Mansell
  • 20Lucas
  • 22Moore
  • 27Broom
  • 29James
  • 34Partington
  • 41Hodges
Referee:
Nigel Miller
Attendance:
6,029

Match Stats

Home TeamWalsallAway TeamBristol Rovers
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home7
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away4

Live Text

Match ends, Walsall 3, Bristol Rovers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Walsall 3, Bristol Rovers 1.

Attempt missed. Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Joe Edwards.

Luke James (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James O'Connor (Walsall).

Attempt missed. Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box is too high.

Byron Moore (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Edwards (Walsall).

Foul by Ollie Clarke (Bristol Rovers).

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Walsall 3, Bristol Rovers 1. Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Lee Brown with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. George Dobson replaces Florent Cuvelier.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Andreas Makris replaces Erhun Oztumer.

Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Joe Edwards.

Attempt saved. Simeon Jackson (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Ryan Broom replaces Rory Gaffney.

Goal!

Goal! Walsall 3, Bristol Rovers 0. Joe Edwards (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Florent Cuvelier (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Walsall 2, Bristol Rovers 0. Simeon Jackson (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Chambers.

Foul by James Clarke (Bristol Rovers).

Simeon Jackson (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Simeon Jackson replaces Amadou Bakayoko.

Luke James (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James O'Connor (Walsall).

Attempt saved. Matty Taylor (Bristol Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Byron Moore replaces Daniel Leadbitter.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Luke James replaces Billy Bodin because of an injury.

Delay in match Billy Bodin (Bristol Rovers) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Ollie Clarke (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Erhun Oztumer (Walsall).

James Clarke (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Second Half

Second Half begins Walsall 1, Bristol Rovers 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Walsall 1, Bristol Rovers 0.

Goal!

Goal! Walsall 1, Bristol Rovers 0. Eoghan O'Connell (Walsall) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner following a set piece situation.

Foul by Ollie Clarke (Bristol Rovers).

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Lee Brown (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

James Clarke (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sheff Utd28176553322157
2Scunthorpe27167453262755
3Bolton26155635191650
4Fleetwood27137740291146
5Bradford281113434231146
6Rochdale27143104136545
7Southend2711973934542
8Peterborough2611874031941
9Millwall2711794240240
10Bristol Rovers28116114750-339
11Wimbledon2791083833537
12Oxford Utd27107103430437
13Walsall2791083335-237
14Charlton2681263326736
15Port Vale2688102939-1032
16MK Dons2687113437-331
17Gillingham2787123443-931
18Northampton2886143948-930
19Swindon2878132741-1429
20Shrewsbury2877142740-1328
21Bury2875164355-1226
22Chesterfield2875162845-1726
23Oldham26410121328-1522
24Coventry2749142339-1621
View full League One table

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