Walsall 3 Doncaster Rovers 0: Rovers demise brings apology from Dickov

Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov
Doncaster Rovers manager Paul Dickov
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ROVERS manager Paul Dickov spoke of his embarrassment after James Baxendale came back to haunt his former employers.

Leeds youth product Baxendale, who made two appearance for Doncaster in 2012, finished a good move with a shot from inside the area to open the scoring in first-half stoppage time.

Baxendale’s opener flew past helpless debutant Marko Marosi, who was introduced on the half-hour following Jed Steer’s withdrawal following a rib injury.

The midfield man then started the move that led to the Saddlers’ second, fired in by Tom Bradshaw from Romaine Sawyers’s pass.

Anthony Forde scored the third on 64 minutes with a free-kick that went in off the post, leaving Dickov to admit: “I’m a little bit embarrassed by the performance to tell you the truth. I want to apologise to the fans, because they were brilliant and they are probably the only plus point.

“The players know exactly how we feel and if I can change things around I will.

“We set standards all the time in training and we fell well short of that today.”

Rovers’ defence had been strengthened by Jamie McCombe returning to the fray in place of Liam Wakefield and after a high-energy performance on Tuesday night, attacking midfielder Harry Forrester made the starting XI with Theo Robinson alone up front.

Walsall: O’Donnell, O’Connor, Downing, Butler, Taylor, Forde, Adam Chambers, Flanagan (Clifford 55), Baxendale, Sawyers (Manset 83), Bradshaw (Grimes 83). Unused substitutes: MacGillivray, Benning, James Chambers, Cook.

Doncaster Rovers: Steer (Marosi 30), Wabara, McCombe, McCullough, Evina, Bennett (Wellens 55), Keegan (Peterson 66), Furman, Coppinger, Forrester, Robinson. Unused substitutes: Wakefield, De Val Fernandez, Lund, Ferguson.

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire).

Man of the match: Tom Bradshaw.