Doncaster Rovers 1 FC Halifax Town 1: Slog of an evening in low key friendly

The frustration over Doncaster Rovers' friendly with Halifax Town did not end with a last minute change of venue.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 19:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 24:55 am
Rovers in action at Cantley Park against FC Halifax Town

A slog of a contest - Darren Moore's first official outing as boss - offered little in the way of tangible positives and showed there is plenty for the new boss to work on.

Alfie May's second half strike rescued a share of the spoils after a trialist put Halifax ahead - the first goal conceded by Rovers in pre-season.

In spectacle terms it could hardly have been more low key. Problems with the pitch at The Shay forced the switch to Cantley Park - and behind closed doors at that.

The feeling of a reserve team fixture seemed to seep into the Rovers side as the pacing of their play and concentration levels were at times lacking.

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They met a tremendously well-organised Halifax side that got men back to cover excellently and rarely gave them a minute in possession,

While the two previous friendlies for Rovers have been stories of missed chances, on this occasions they struggled to create opportunities.

Attacks built well but broke down in the final third due to a combination of poor movement and a lack of space.

The visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure around the quarter hour with Jamie Allen firing a pot shot which cannoned back off the post.

And Halifax took the lead on 18 minutes when a trialist drilled a low effort which caught Ian Lawlor unsighted and nestled into the bottom corner.

Real chances for Rovers were few and far between with Brad Halliday firing wide from distance on 34 minutes.

But they should have been level seven minutes from the break. Halliday whipped in a dangerous cross and May rose but could not turn his header on goal.

Halifax again produced a good spell before half time with Tobi Sho-Silva firing wide after good build-up play while the goalscoring trialist forced a strong parry from Lawlor with an effort from 20 yards.

Rovers improved after the break with the first half side remaining on for at least an hour.

Reece James powered to the byline and drilled a cross to deep where James Coppinger powered a first time effort over the bar.

Madger Gomes fired over from the edge of the box but May finally grabbed the equaliser on 59 minutes.

Ben Whiteman pushed into the box but could not get a shot away and backheeled to May who smashed a shot in from 15 yards.

Rovers made five changes on the hour mark rather than the full side, with the remaining substitutions coming ten minutes later.

James hooked a shot past the post after racing across the face of the box.

Substitute Max Watters tricked his way past his marker out wide, cut inside and forced a smart save with a low strike.

Rovers were in control but struggled to find the breakthrough. Kieran Sadlier saw a piledriver from 25 yards deflect wide while Matty Blair fired into the sidenetting after meeting a low centre from Will Longbottom.

Halifax had the final say with Niall Maher forcing Louis Jones into an acrobatic save from a free kick.