A second game for Dean Saunders and a second return too, with a point from this Yorkshire derby to add to Saturday’s victory over Crystal Palace. This match largely followed the pattern of his first game in charge too. A lacklustre first half followed by an improved showing after the interval, led by the raise in expectation and atmosphere from the introduction of Billy Sharp from the bench.
Hull had the better of the early exchanges in this match, with Robert Brady forcing Neil Sullivan into a save two minutes in. A corner shortly after led to an effort from Robert Koren, but the midfielder fired wide from outside the area. Just before the quarter hour mark the visitors came close to opening the scoreline as Martin Waghorn broke in the right channel, and slid the ball beyond Sullivan, but James O’Connor was back to clear off the line for a corner.
Rovers were creating very little and had their best chance of the half eighteen minutes from a deadball; Coppinger’s free-kick getting a deflection before being saved by Adriano Basso getting down to his left. Eventually the vistors’ persistence paid off just past the midway point of the half as Brady got away down the left and his low cross into the six yard box was bundled in by Waghorn, the ball ricocheting off the forward as Sullivan attempted to save at his feet. For the remainder of the half chances were at a premium as Rovers all too often looked for the long ball forward to little reward.
After the break Hull continued to have the better of the game, but despite spending the opening five minutes in Rovers half a long-range Waghorn effort off-target was all they managed to muster. The introduction of Sharp eight minutes after the break lifted the crowd and the Rovers , and just before the hour mark they were level. Brian Stock crossed to the far post, Jon Parkin nodded back across goal and Simon Gillett was on hand to turnin the ball on the half-volley. Rovers pushed to add to their tally but it would be City who had the enxt opportunity; Brady firing wide.
Rovers though were creating chances too, and Basso had to be alert to catch as Parkin managed to divert a Sharp cross goalwards. Jamie Coppinger, on the Rovers right was proving a constant thorn in Hull’s side, but unfortuantely his creativity could not lead to the decisive breakthrough, and though play switched from end to end in the final twenty minutes genuine chances on goal, remained sadly limited.
Doncaster Rovers line-up (4-3-2-1): Neil Sullivan; JamesO’Connor, Richard Naylor, Shelton Martis, George Friend; Brian Stock, Simon Gillett, John Oster (Milan Lalkovic); Jamie Coppinger (Kyle Bennett) James Hayter (Billy Sharp), Jon Parkin
subs not used: Gary Woods, Sam Hird
booked: Jon Parkin
Hull City line-up (4-4-2): Adriano Basso; Liam Rosenior, James Chester, Jack Hobbs, Corry Evans; Robert Koren (Nick Barmby), Tom Cairney, Robert Brady, Joe Dudgeon; Martyn Waghorn (Dele Adebola), Matty Fryatt
subs not used: Peter Gulacsi, Aaron McClean, Sonny Bradley
booked: Dele Adebola