ROVERS needed penalties to sneak through to the second round of the Capital One Cup after a low key opening to the new season.
Chris Brown, Martin Woods, Kyle Bennett and Robbie Blake all held their nerve from the spot as the home side marked their first game as new Keepmoat Stadium owners with a tense shoot-out success.
Michael Coulson, who had earlier given the Minstermen a spectacular second half lead, blazed his spot kick over the bar before Matty Blair followed suit to put Dean Saunders' men in the hat for the next round.
A game of few clear-cut chances and one low on quality took until deep into the second period to show any signs of life.
Coulson drifted in from the right and beat Gary Woods with a magnificent curling effort to put a workmanlike York side ahead on 65 minutes.
But the goal sparked a reply from Doncaster, who had been gone close through David Cotterill's long range drive before the break, but who also had struggled to penetrate the visitors' well organised back-line.
But Rovers were gifted the chance to level from the penalty sport when Lee Bullock was adjudged to have fouled Cotterill in the box.
Chris Brown, who scored in the corresponding fixture eight years ago when Rovers relegated York to the Conference, made no mistake from the spot.
And Brown was again on target from 12 yards as his teammates held their nerve in the shoot-out, following a drab period of extra time.
The victory was marred by an injury to new signing Paul Quinn, although boss Saunders is hopeful the full back's injury is no more than cramp.
Saunders confirmed after the game that he is hoping to push through a deal to sign a new striker on Monday.