Goals either side of half-time from Madger Gomes and James Coppinger saw Rovers draw 2-2 with Sky Bet Championship side Hull City after an impressive display at the Keepmoat Stadium in the final pre-season friendly of 2019.
In stark contrast to Wednesday evening’s match against Huddersfield Town, the heavens had decided to empty and the torrential rain made for a pretty miserable match build-up but by the time referee Jon Moss blew his whistle to signal the start of play, the rain had mostly stopped.
Hull had the first chance of the afternoon. Some quick passing through midfield saw Jarrod Bowden through on goal, but Joe Wright made an excellent block to deny him. Hull did take the lead shortly after and Bowden was involved again.
Similar quick passing play put Bowden through but this time he opted to square the ball to Jackson Irvine who slid in and put the ball in the net.
Hull looked set to double their lead when Kamil Grosicki’s cross was pulled back to Nouha Dicko on the edge of the box, but the striker’s effort was blocked en route by Reece James.
A short break in play came about at Joe Wright went down requiring treatment from an injury which would see him sit out the rest of the game to be replaced by Trialist One.
The break in proceedings seem to do Rovers good as they capitalised directly from the restart –Gomes floating a shot across the goals which curled just inside the far post following some smart build-up play between Alfie May and Coppinger.
Hull responded with both Grosicki and Eric Lichaj both firing shots wide of Seny Dieng’s goal.
Rovers’ goal appeared to have revitalised the home side who were playing scintillating football through midfield, carving open the Championship side on multiple occasions. One occasion led to a Brad Halliday shot, which took a deflection wide from a Hull foot. Two more chances – also coming down the right-hand side – saw Sadlier and then May come close to capitalising from Halliday’s crossing.
Coppinger tried his luck from 30-yards with Sadlier again was only inches from toeing it before Hull ‘keeper George Long.
Halliday was then in the action at the other end of the pitch, shrewd defending from the right-back saw him slow up and then disposes Grosicki who had broken the off-side trap which rounded off an impressive first-half display from Rovers.
The rain which had held off for the first 45 for was back for the second as Moore opted to make no changes to the side who had finished the first half. The match was stopped almost straight away due to an injury to Irvine following a collision with Ben Sheaf.
Rovers continued to dominate, and the pressure told when Coppinger finished off a great move passing move. Sadlier’s square ball was deliberately left by May which drew most of the Hull defence to leave Coppinger in acres of space 25-yards out – he placed the ball into the far corner.
That would be the last of the action for both Coppinger and May who made way for Trialist Two and Trialist Three.
Goriski responded with a speculative effort from distance but Deng was more than equal to it. At the other end, Gomes was close to turning in a cross from Trialist Three – the shot was blocked to Whiteman who slid the ball out to Halliday, his effort flew wide.
Hull’s first chance came out of almost nothing when substitute Josh Bowler had an effort from distance which took a touch off a Rovers play to take it wide. Bowden also saw one go wide.
Triallist Two had two opportunities from counterattacks both starting on the half-way line. He first tried to curl his effort around the ‘keeper, the second he tried to chip him. Long was alert on both occasions.
Hull found an equaliser on the 88th minute with Bowler firing in from close range after an initial shot by Irvine deflected kindly to him in the box.