Doncaster Rovers 1 Walsall 0

Walsall's League One status grew increasingly uncertain after their free fall down the table continued at Doncaster yesterday.

James Coppinger's 43rd-minute free-kick winner dumped the Saddlers to the foot of the table, and manager Kevan Broadhurst believes they need to win their last three games to survive.

He said: "We are running out of games. It's simple mathematics, we need to win three out of three.

"We have to keep going but it will have to be nine points because of our goal difference. We have just got to believe we can get those nine points.

"We need to make a fight of it. The fans deserve that."

Broadhurst blamed the lack of goals for Walsall's slide down the table and the failure to replace the club's leading goal scorer Matty Fryatt, who joined Leicester City in January.

He said: "If your top goal scorer has three goals then it doesn't take Einstein to work out what's gone wrong."

Despite only one win in their last 16 games, Walsall started brightly.

They conjured a great opportunity on 14 minutes when Dean Keates switched the play to Grant Smith. Smith's flick inside found Andrew Barrowman in acres of space but he scooped the ball over the bar.

Steve Claridge, who turned 40 last week, fed Barrowman but his 20-yard shot was easily gathered by Alan Blayney.

Doncaster, with still a slight chance of making the play-offs, had hardly created a chance before striking in the 43rd minute. Michael Standing was penalised for handling outside the box and Coppinger's low free-kick swerved past Andy Oakes into the bottom corner.

Broadhurst said: "It was a frustrating goal to say the least. It's been a catalogue of defensive errors in recent weeks and it shows a naivety in the squad."

It could have been worse for Walsall. Leo Fortume-West slipped as he tried to connect with Sean Thornton's volley four yards out and then headed well wide when unmarked from a Coppinger corner.

The Saddlers' best opportunity to equalise fell to substitute James Constable on 72 minutes, following a break down the right by Claridge. But Ishmel Demontagnac's goal-bound effort from the striker's cross was diverted over by Constable from six yards out.

Broadhurst added: "In the last two games we have not had the rub of the green. Decisions have not gone our way but we didn't help ourselves by missing chances."