The Star’s Paul Goodwin gives his verdict on an incredibly disappointing defeat for Rovers.
IAN LAWLOR 6
Incredible to think that he actually had a quiet afternoon, apart from picking the ball out of the net following Walsall’s only three shots on target.
NIALL MASON 5
Infuriated his manager by giving the ball away too often and straying out of position. Got hooked for Alcock just before the opening goal.
JOE WRIGHT 5
Not a bad performance in the main from Rovers’ most consistent player this season - but his error led to the opening goal. It should’ve gone in Row Z.
ANDY BUTLER 6
Barely put a foot wrong before the capitulation, but was unable to prevent the collapse as Rovers pushed self-destruct defensively.
MATHIEU BAUDRY 6
Composed on the ball, as per normal. A surprise withdrawal on 56 minutes when Ferguson chose to switch to a back four.
HARRY TOFFOLO 7
Looks a different player to the one seen at Northampton. Some smart touches, confident on the ball and going forward. Slipped in build-up to second goal.
JORDAN HOUGHTON 6
Struggled to really impose himself on the game. He’s not yet had the impact he had on this team last season.
BEN WHITEMAN 6
Similar to Houghton. Did not particularly stand out in the midfield battle.
TOMMY ROWE 6
Played behind Marquis and Mandeville in the 3-4-1-2 and looked the one most likely to spark something while the game was 0-0. Not as effective as he was against Portsmouth though.
JOHN MARQUIS 5
If he scores just before the break it’s a different game. He leant back, no excuses. His hold-up play remains pretty mediocre.
LIAM MANDEVILLE 5
Another one who frustrated his manager. Never really looked like influencing the game before making way for Coppinger.
RODNEY KONGOLO 5
Looked over-eager to impress. Gave the ball away several times and his sloppy mistake led to the third goal.
JAMES COPPINGER 6
Initially injected some life into Rovers in the final third but his influence waned as Walsall smashed and grabbed.
CRAIG ALCOCK 5
Wright was at fault for the opening goal but Alcock didn’t help matters by bizarrely running away from the ball before Oztumer tucked it home.
SUBS NOT USED
Marko Marosi, Tyler Garratt, Issam Ben Khemis, Alfie Beestin.
Mark Gillespie 7, Liam Kinsella 7, James Wilson 7, Jon Guthrie 7, Luke Leahy 7, Adam Chambers 7, Erhun Oztumer 7 (Donnellan 78, 6), Florent Cuvelier 6 (Kieron Morris 67, 6), Joe Edwards 6, Tyler Roberts 7 (Daniel Agyei 85), Amadou Bakayoko 6. Subs not used: Liam Roberts, Reece Flanagan, Zeli Ismail, Maz Kouhyar.
KEVIN JOHNSON 7
ATTENDANCE: 7,391 (329)