Nathan Tyson’s second half brace gave Rovers victory at Frickley Athletic in a tough first pre-season outing.
Rovers were given a testing workout by the Evo-Stik Premier League outfit and were rarely given space to breathe by their hosts in a clash where Curtis Main missed a penalty.
Paul Dickov - returning to the site of his first game in charge of the club two years ago - refused to ease off on his players in training in the build-up to the game, hoping to see how they would cope with tired legs.
What he did see, in the first half in particular, was a rather sluggish outfit and one that looked as if it had indeed put in the hard yards on the training ground.
The second half side, with nine changes from the first, coped better with fatigue and moved the ball much the better.
Giant goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann and centre half Gary MacKenzie were both given their first taste of match action for the club in the first period, while Richard Chaplow and Andy Williams were both rested after featuring in play-off campaigns for their previous employers.
Frickley enjoyed much the better of the chances in the first period and could easily have been a couple of goals to the good by the break.
Stuckmann was forced into a point blank save from Jameel Ible while forward Reece Thompson twice drew fine saves after ghosting clear in the box.
The giant keeper was a solid presence, claiming a number of corners with ease while fellow new arrival MacKenzie showed his combative nature in a number of tussles with the Blues’ forwards.
Rovers were awarded a penalty when Main was felled in the box by John Cyrus.
Main stepped up but struck a tame placed shot which drew a simple save from Kieron Gibson.
Winger Billy Whitehouse and the versatile Paul McKay were the only players to return after the break while former Cheltenham Town full back Durrell Berry was handed a trialist’s run out at right back in a much more lively second period.
Tyson curled just wide from the edge of the area while Richie Wellens rattled the bar with a piledriver before Rovers took the lead on the hour mark.
Paul McKay - switched to centre midfield for the second half - sent a ball through to Tyson who, with a big hint of offside, slotted home into the far corner.
James Coppinger drew a superb save, driving from the corner of the box with the ball tipped acrobatically over the bar.
But Rovers did find a second as full time drew near.
Coppinger sent Tyson, last season’s top scorer, scarpering clear with the forward producing a sublime chip over the keeper to secure the win.