What happened, how did Doncaster Rovers play and who stood out in friendly draw with Hull City?
Doncaster Rovers showed signs of clicking into gear in their 2-2 draw with Hull City.
They recovered from a slow start against Grant McCann’s side to turn the game on its head – and offer plenty of encouragement ahead of next weekend’s League One opener with Gillingham despite conceding a late equaliser.
This was Rovers’ best performance of pre-season by some considerable distance.
New signing Madger Gomes played a starring role, scoring an excellent goal and delivering his best performance yet in a Rovers shirt.
The Ben Whiteman and Ben Sheaf midfield partnership impressed and was instrumental in the home side wrestling back control of this game after going behind.
Rovers again lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Kieran Sadlier deployed as an emergency striker in the absence of John Marquis. They switched to 4-4-1-1 later in the game.
Goalkeeper Seny Dieng played the 90 minutes and, when called upon, showcased some very useful handling and distribution.
Joe Wright’s frustrating pre-season continued as he limped off midway through the first half. He was replaced by trialist Alex Baptiste who quietly went about his business.
Fellow trialists Jamie Ward and Gael Bigirimana also featured for half an hour, with Ward making more of an impression.
Despite starting the game on the back foot, Rovers showed plenty of encouraging signs during the first half.
Hull were sharper during the opening exchanges and Jackson Irvine rounded off an incisive move to put the Tigers ahead after seven minutes.
But Doncaster gradually began to get more of a foothold in the game and they visibly gained in confidence after Gomes equalised with a very smart finish midway through the first half – the new arrival popping up on the right side of the box and clipping home a left-foot shot into the far corner.
The theme of this pre-season has been for Darren Moore’s men to enjoy some decent build-up play but lack a spark in the final third.
But Rovers were now seeing more of the ball higher up the pitch and asking more questions of Hull’s backline, with Gomes and May particularly prominent in the wide areas.
The more effective link-up play in advanced areas continued into the second period.
And it resulted in the second goal after 55 minutes when Sadlier’s square ball was nicely dummied by May and Coppinger expertly beat George Long with a well-placed shot from distance.
Rovers lost some of their impetus as the game wore on but had opportunities to extend their lead. Ward twice got one on one with Long but could not finish.
To Hull’s credit they kept on plugging away and got their reward during the closing stages when a deflected shot fell kindly for Josh Bowler to fire home from close range.