Doncaster and Motherwell drew a blank in a fairly low-key friendly match at the Keepmoat Stadium this afternoon.
In a game of few clear-cut chances, the closest either side came was an outrageously audacious 45-yard chip from Iain Vigurs that came back of the crossbar.
New signings Gunnar Nielsen, Iain Vigurs, Paul Lawson and John Sutton were all named in the starting eleven, although Sutton’s match would barely last twenty minutes before he would be forced off after a clash of heads with Donny defender Jean-Yves M’Voto.
Doncaster lined up with former Steelmen skipper Paul Quinn in their starting eleven. He was joined by former SPL’ers Rob Jones (Hibs), Mariàn Kello (Hearts) and Dean Furman (Rangers).
Motherwell just about shaded an otherwise uneventful first half, restricting the hosts to very little.
Indeed, the only effort of the whole period was Billy Paynter’s long-range effort on the half-hour that sailed way, way off target.
There was just one change for the Steelmen at the interval, Lee Hollis replacing the otherwise underworked Gunnar Nielsen.
The 150 or so ‘Well fans in the sun-soaked East Stand would have been hoping for a goal from their side and they almost got it with a fantastic piece of play from Vigurs.
Bob McHugh did well to win the ball in the middle of the park, quickly knocking it to the former Ross County man. He took a touch to steady himself, a quick glance to spot Kello off his line, before striking a cracker from all of 45-yards.
It looked as if it was going to sail in, but the 25-year old was cruelly denied by the crossbar; the home goalkeeper relieved, his blushed spared.
Donny had already created a half-chance before the Vigurs effort when David Syers turned a Paul Keegan cross over the bar from close range.
Paul Dickov’s side were getting the upper hand and David Cotterill tested Hollis with a stinging low drive that the former Airdrie stopper did well to clutch low to his right. However, they were almost caught on the counter and only a super Kello save prevented the opener.
Vigurs was again involved, dinking a neat little ball over the top of the defence for the supporting McHugh. The ball just wouldn’t drop quickly enough but when it did, the striker sent a stinging effort at goal that the Slovak international did fantastically well to tip over.
The hour mark was the signal for both teams to make wholesale changes – Adam Cummins, Stuart Carswell, Fraser Kerr and Lee Erwin were all introduced in place of Simon Ramsden, Iain Vigurs, Stevie Hammell and Bob McHugh.
Paul Lawson was having an impressive debut in the centre of the park and he had a shot on the 65th minute that looked as if was going close, only for a deflection to take it inches over the crossbar.
Down the other end, a scramble inside the Steelmen six-yard box looked as if it had led to the first goal but Hollis blocked the initial point-blank shot and was quick to smother the rebound.
Motherwell had another fair decent chance when Erwin slipped in Craig Moore but his low dragged shot was fairly easy for Kello to save.
The home side pushed for a winner in the last ten minutes but a Keegan volley that sailed horribly wide, and a Chris Brown header that went straight at Hollis was all they could really create.
In the end, a draw was a fair result and both teams would have been satisfied with the workout.
Motherwell: Nielsen (Hollis 45), Hammell (Cummins 60), Ramsden (Kerr 60), Hutchinson, Trialist, Lawson, Sutton (Moore 22), Vigurs (Carswell 60), Lasley (Murray 75), McHugh (Erwin 60), Francis Angol
Subs Not Used: Stewart