Saturday, 1st February, 2014 at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Skybet League Championship
DONCASTER ROVERS 0 Middlesbrough 0
Referee - Mr Andy Davies
Attendance - 11,440 (4,254 visitors)
A fine but cold afternoon with a strong wind blowing down the pitch was the setting for the game against visitors from the North-East, Middlesbrough, who have won four of their last five visits to Doncaster, Rovers winning just once.
Rovers made one change from Tuesday, with Sam Johnstone coming in on loan from Manchester United to replace Ross Turnbull, who was struggling from a calf strain.
Although Middlesbrough kicked off it was Rovers who were soon on the attack to win a corner in the second minute. This was cleared but two minutes later Keegan shot over the bar from 25 yards.
Duffy then crossed from the left for Coppinger to back-head across the face of goal and out at the far post.
Rovers continued to have the better of the possession, with the visitors making only an occasional foray into the Rovers half.
In the 22nd minute a right foot cross from Duffy was beaten away by Given at the near post. Then Wellens, on the Rovers right, passed inside to Sharp, who laid off to Brown to shoot from 20yards but Given saved comfortably.
On the half hour, following a free kick from Husband, the ball came out of the Middlesbrough defence to Wellens, who fired wide of the far post from 25yards.
Middlesbrough gradually got into the game and won a corner in the 38th minute but it was cleared. At the other end a couple of corners to Rovers came to nothing.
It had been a very pedestrian first half, mostly played out in midfield and possibly marred by a strong wind blowing from the North Stand end.
Half Time - Doncaster Rovers 0 Middlesbrough 0
The referee, Mr Davies, was taken ill at half time and was replaced by the 4th official, Mr Mark Brown.
Rovers made a substitution for the second half, Dean Furman replacing Keegan.
Rovers got the second half underway and were straight on to the attack but didn't trouble Given in the Middlesbrough goal.
In the 53rd minute Carayol got away down the Middlesbrough left and shot from the edge of the penalty area, the ball going wide of the far post.
This spurred the visitors into action and they began their best spell of the game, with Leadbitter crossing from the right in the 59th minute for Main to get in a header at the far post but Johnstone saved easily.
Straight to the other end where Duffy crossed low to the middle from the right by-line but Brown, stretching full length, put the ball high over the bar from 2yards.
However, Rovers were now on the back-foot as Middlesbrough applied the pressure. A couple of substitutions by Middlesbrough added more firepower and minutes later Graham put a tame shot well wide of the far post.
Rovers managed to contain the visitors and as the last ten minutes came up they began to hit back with a trio of corners but nothing came from them.
Omeru, for the visitors, got down their left before shooting from the left side of penalty area but putting wide of the far post.
Rovers attacked to the final whistle which came after a corner kick from Cotterill was cleared off the line at the far post from Brown, who tried to force the ball over the goal-line.
Result - Doncaster Rovers 0 Middlesbrough 0
Teams - ROVERS - Sam Johnstone; Gabriel Tamas, Bongani Khumalo, Abdoulaye Meite, James Husband; James Coppinger, Richie Wellens (c), Paul Keegan, Mark Duffy; Chris Brown, Billy Sharp
Subs used - Dean Furman for Keegan 46 mins; David Cotterill for Duffy 79 mins;
Subs not used - Paul Quinn, Marc De Val, Alex Peterson, Enda Stevens, Jon Maxted gk
Caution - Wellens 36 mins;
Middlesbrough - Shay Given; Kenneth Omeruo, Daniel Ayala, Ben Gibson, George Friend; Emmanuel Ledesma, Jacob Butterfield, Grant Leadbitter (c), Nathaniel Chalobah, Mustapha Carayol; Curtis Main
Subs used - Dean Whitehead for Butterfield 63 mins; Danny Graham for Main 63 mins; Kel Kamara for Ayala 88 mins;
Subs not used - Jozsef Varga, Seb Hines, Ryan Brobbell, Dimitrios Konstantopoulos gk
Caution - Whitehead 90+2 mins;