MATCH REPORT: Hartlepool 1 Doncaster Rovers 1 - hard earned point overshadowed by crowd trouble

Hartlepool United  Doncaster Rovers League1. 1-1 13-10-2012 Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United Doncaster Rovers League1. 1-1 13-10-2012 Picture by FRANK REID

ROVERS showed all their battling qualities as skipper Rob Jones popped up in the last minute to rescue a point - but an outbreak of fighting among Doncaster fans marred a hard fought draw at Victoria Park.

Jones met Kyle Bennett's right wing cross to equalise in the 89th minute after switching from centre back to centre forward, cancelling out Neil Austin's second half penalty for the hosts.

But for a second successive away game, incidents off the pitch will overshadow the good work on it by Saunders' battlers .

Fighting broke out among a small number of Doncaster fans in the aftermath of Austin's 70th minute spot kick, forcing stewards and police to intervene and eject several trouble-makers.

The unsavoury incident took the gloss off Jones' last gasp leveller; a goal which had appeared unlikely to come as Rovers, who struggled to impose themselves on the youthful home side, saw chances come and go.

Shelton Martis headed over from point blank range before the break, while James Harper saw two volleys deflected wide after the interval.

Struggling Pools initially looked low on confidence but lifted the tempo at the start of the second period; James Poole forcing a full length save out of the impressive Gary Woods from the edge of the box.

The game then appeared to have swung on a controversial refereeing decision when Graham Scott ruled that Paul Quinn and Shelton Martis had man-handled big striker Steve Howard from a long throw.

It was a decision that infuriated Saunders, who then threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser.

Jones led the line alongside Kyle Bennett and substitute Jordan Ball, and found himself in the right place to nod home Bennett's perfect centre from the right.

The goal sparked scenes of wild celebration among Doncaster 's 600-strong travelling band of supporters - but sadly another individual let the majority down when he invaded the pitch to celebrate and was led away by stewards.