Clayton Ince followed up his man-of-the-match performance at the weekend to deny Rovers yet again.
The Walsall goalkeeper saved a Jeff Hughes penalty 10 minutes from the end to leave Rovers trailing the play-off spots by 10 points – with their games in hand now used up.
A Richard Taundry shot gave the visitors the lead after 32 minutes, but it was Ince’s night. The keeper dived to keep out Jeff Hughes’ penalty and then beat away the follow-up effort from Paul Heffernan.
While Rovers boss Paul Trollope refused to write off his team’s chances for the season, he bemoaned bad decision-making which put his side under pressure throughout the match.
“We started in the right and were very progressive in our passing, we got it forward and looked likely, looked like the better team,” he told the club website.
“There were a few bad decisions which led to us being under pressure, and the mistake that led to the goal was a very poor one.
“There was a lot of huff and puff in the second half, there was a decent urgency about us, we pushed them back down the hill for long periods and dominated long spells of the half.
“But unfortunately we did not have the guile or the good decisions to be able to create chances despite that dominance, which was disappointing.”
Trollope admitted his side faced an uphill struggle to climb the table.
“The games in hand have gone now, we are where we are, we are ninth. We are still looking upwards, but we realise that we need to address the home form especially.
That home form will come under pressure once again in Rovers’ next match at home to third-placed Charlton next Monday.
Saddlers boss hails stopper Ince.
Chris Hutchings praised goalkeeper Clayton Ince for the brilliant double save that clinched Walsall the points as they beat Bristol Rovers 1-0.
The goalkeeper not only dived to keep out Jeff Hughes' 82nd-minute penalty, but also got up to parry the follow-up shot from Paul Heffernan in the clash on Tuesday night.
"It's what goalkeepers work on all week in training and all credit to Clayton for getting his reward," said Hutchings.
"It was a great effort to stop the penalty and he was back on his feet in an instant to deal with the rebound.
The Saddlers boss added: "But it's hard to single out one player after such a good team performance. We defended strongly from the front and allowed Rovers very few chances.
"Alex Nicholls' persistence set up our goal and that was typical of the hard work put in by the players. After three draws we were due a success and it's nice to be building a decent unbeaten run."
Ince looking to build.
POPULAR goalkeeper, Clayton Ince made it just one goal conceded in our last four games with a commanding performance in the 1-0 victory at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening, that also included a superb double save from a penalty with just ten minutes left on the clock.
"I was pleased with the penalty save," he said. "But it makes no sense to do your best from the penalty and then let the rebound roll in, so I had to be alert and ready for the follow-up.
"Thankfully I was able to keep that out too and play my part in an important win. We needed that clean sheet, it was vital for us.
"The guys have worked hard in recent weeks and now we are starting to find our rhythm and be positive again. We've not got the victories that maybe our performances have deserved recently, but we were rewarded at Bristol Rovers.
"The result will give the lads belief that we can be up there in the top ten. We have to take every game as it comes and will go to Oldham on Saturday determined to show them that we have been playing well and extend our unbeaten run.
"I think that we have learned from our mistakes and we now have something positive to build upon."