DONCASTER Rovers suffered their second successive defeat, slipping at home to soaring Walsall..Two poor goals from set-pieces from Rovers’ perspective condemned them to defeat at Bury last week and another saw them behind early in this game.
Cotterill fouled Purkiss on the right, Taylor sent the free kick into the box and BUTLER headed home with ease at the near post.
Rovers responded well to the setback and commanded possession for much of the half without truly testing Walsall keeper McLoughlin.
Quinn found space for a cross which took a slight deflection on the way over and cannoned wide of the diving Paynter’s shoulder.
But Paynter made no mistake on 16 minutes to give Rovers the equaliser.
A high ball into the box from the left was nodded down by Brown and PAYNTER nipped in to tap past McLoughlin.
Cotterill was booked for an obvious dive after tumbling in the box, a decision which hardly endeared referee Adcock to the Rovers faithful.
Taylor pulled a free kick from 20 yards out just wide for the visitors while at the other end Brown saw a header from a Cotterill free kick drift past the far post.
Walsall skipper Butler twice came to his side’s rescue in quick succession.
First he headed clear a Cotterill cross with Paynter waiting unmarked at the back post and then he flicked a Coppinger delivery out of the path of Brown after McLoughlin failed to claim.
McLoughlin was well-positioned to punch a Cotterill corner back out of play as the ball drifted dangerously towards his near post.
Walsall rarely threatened after their strong start but fired a warning shot when Chambers chipped a ball over the top, sending Brandy scurrying clear but he skewed his half volley wide.
And Taylor looked to test his aim again with a free kick from 25 yards but sent it high and wide.
Former Rovers defender James Chambers received a warm welcome when he replaced the injured Purkiss at right back just before the break.
Walsall’s Taylor attempted to curl a low shot into the far corner after a mazy run down the left in the second half’s opening act but saw the ball float wide.
McLoughlin parried a Cotterill free kick from the corner of the box out to Brown who saw his volley from the rebound blocked and then headed the recycled ball tamely at the Walsall keeper.
While they did not have as much control of possession as they did in the first half, Rovers continued to have the better of the play in dangerous areas over the opening 20 minutes.
On the hour, Harper volleyed well wide after the ball dropped to him on the edge of the area while Brown flicked a header from a Quinn cross just past the far post five minutes later.
Cotterill attempted a stunning speculative effort on 67 minutes, volleying with the outside of his boot from 25 yards with the ball crashing back off the underside of the bar out to man of the moment Jones who could only head over.
Walsall began to show their teeth in the last 20 minutes as they began to take control of possession in midfield.
Woods claimed a fierce Paterson drive at the second attempt and produced a fine save at his near post after a powerful low effort from Mantom.
Paterson again tested Woods’ reflexes from distance on 79 minutes but the Rovers keeper saved the low strike well.
Bennett was introduced for Paynter and immediately had a chance to put his side ahead when Cotterill’s centre dropped to him ten yards out but he scuffed his shot wide.
Such missed chances were rued when the visitors re-took the lead on 82 minutes, again with questionable defending from Rovers.
BRANDY beat his man and had acres of space to smash a shot past Woods from eight yards.
A Cotterill free kick from deep needed to be tipped out by McLoughlin after evading everyone.
But Walsall were well on top, continually stealing possession in the middle of park.
Paterson surged down the left and cut inside but took too much time taking his shot and the ball was cleared while Woods was forced to dramatically tip over from a Taylor strike from distance.
Walsall looked to play out the game in the corners and Rovers had little answer.