WALSALL 0 DONCASTER ROVERS 3

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DONCASTER Rovers, fielding six new players compared to last season, kicked off with a brilliant 3-0 away winWalsall kicked off on an overcast afternoon but Rovers, playing in their all white strip, were the first to threaten.

Bennett pumped in a cross from the right which Syers met at the near post but Brown headed wide from in front of goal.

Rob Jones was booked for a fifth minute foul.

Rovers took the lead seconds later.

Walsall skipper Grof failed to hang onto Paynter’s angled shot and BROWN was well placed to put the ball in the back of the net.

Rover had brought a sizeable following with them and it was just the start they had been hoping for.

Rovers doubled their lead on 27 minutes when COTTERILL spotted Grof off his line and beat him with an audacious long-range effort from wide out on the right.

Rob Jones headed high and wide from a 31 minute corner.

Woods did well to smother a low cross into the box from the right by Walsall danger-man Cuvelier on 40 minutes.

Brown became the second Rovers player to be booked following a foul on Walsall midfielder Featherstone - Woods could only punch the resulting free-kick away for another corner.

Paynter had a shot on goal from the edge of the box blocked by a defender in close proximity.

It had been an impressive first-half display by Rovers.

HALF-TIME

Walsall............0

Rovers.............2

The home side, knowing that they had to score first to stand any realistic chance of salvaging a result, made the early running in the opening minutes of the second-half without troubling Woods in the Rovers goal.

Syers blocked a goal-bound shot by Paterson on the edge of the six-yard-box in the 52nd minute.

Walsall forced another corner a minute later but the goal they badly needed continued to elude them.

Cotterill became the third Rovers player to be booked on 54 minutes.

BENNETT effectively killed the game off a minute later. He cut in from the left and picked his spot in clinical style to make it 3-0.

It was the sort of goal which marked him out as a special talent - something which will have come as no surprise to Walsall number two Richard O’Kelly, who held a similar position at Rovers this time last year.

Woods saved well from Adam Chambers’ volley on 58 minutes.

Rovers made a change on 61 minutes with Harper replacing Paynter, who had put in a good shift.

Baxendale, who played for Rovers in their first pre-season game at Cleethorpes, shot over with an angled effort following a good move down the right on 75 minutes.

Cotterill carved out a heading chance for Brown four minutes later following a good run down the left and cross into the box. But keeper Grof was well-placed to collect to deny the big striker a goal.

It proved to be Brown’s last taste of the action before being replaced by Blake on 82 minutes.

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