Sometimes 250 words is more than you could ever need. Rovers offered the square root of nothing as they failed to get a foothold of any kind in this game whilst a Walsall side – uninspiring but effective – took control without having to break sweat.
The first half passed with all the excitement and event of a tax self-assessment – forty-five minutes without a shot on any sort of target. Luke McCullough manfully stifled Tom Bradshaw, Rovers failed to support the hard-working but isolated Theo Robinson.
But then in injury-time came the breakthrough, a neatly worked free-kick caught Rovers napping and James Baxendale skipped in to drive a shot past Marko Marosi. The Slovakian keeper, on for the injured Jed Steer would do little but fetch the ball from his net all afternoon.
Second-half, and despite a couple of tactical shifts from Paul Dickov, anything approaching conducive threatening play evaded Rovers whilst Walsall took advantage of the gaps left by absent full-backs; Sawyer getting his second assist of the game to find the unmarked Bradshaw for 2-0.
A free-kick in off the post made it 3-0 and the game was over. Alex Peterson went on to run around in the vague vicinity of Robinson, but nothing changed. The quality and promise of Fulham evaporating into the exhaust fumes of the adjacent M6 traffic with every passing minute.
by Glen Wilson