Doncaster Rovers 0 Middlesbrough 0

Harry Forrester tries to go past Adam Forshaw.
Harry Forrester tries to go past Adam Forshaw.

Doncaster Rovers and Middlesbrough played out a goalless draw in James Coppinger’s testimonial.

The stalemate lacked intensity and tempo at times but Paul Dickov’s men delivered another hugely encouraging display in terms of their defending, organisation and neat passing interplay.

Rovers showed an appetite to get the ball down and play, while defending well as a unit to keep last season’s losing Championship play-off finalists at bay.

Coppinger, named man of the match, reverted to right midfield on his big day, allowing Wellens to return to the starting line-up at the expense of Cedric Evina.

Luke McCullough played the full 90 minutes at right back, while Curtis Main again outshone Andy Williams in attack with some strong hold-up play and neat lay-offs.

Boro handed a first start to Stewart Downing since his £5 million return and George Friend played at left back against his former club.

After a slow start to proceedings, which saw Boro dominate the early possession, Doncaster grew into the game and went closest to breaking the deadlock.

Harry Forrester drew a decent save from Konstantopoulos, who also had to be equally alert to keep out Coppinger’s long range effort after some good build-up play.

Downing and Grant Leadbitter went closest for Boro with free kick attempts from the egde of the area, while Bradley Fewster was booked for diving after latching onto a slack backpass by Luke McCullough and rounding Thorsten Stuckmann.

Boro were more of a threat after the re-start and Stuckmann had to be at his best to first keep out Downing who broke clear, before spreading himself expertly to block Mustapha Carayol’s effort from close range.

The big German almost undid his good work, however, when his misplaced throw fell straight to Kike who blazed over the bar, before quickly redeeming himself with another excellent save low down to keep out Downing.

Former Boro striker Main should have won it for Rovers late on when he was put in by Wellens but his chip went wide of the target.

Rovers: Stuckmann, McCullough, Butler, MacKenzie (Jones 69), Taylor-Sinclair (P McKay 81), Coppinger (Mandeville 81), Wellens (Whitehouse 81), Middleton (Linley 89), Forrester (Carberry 89), Williams (Evina 59), Main. Subs not used: Marosi, Lund.

Boro: Konstantopoulos (Osorio 70), Ayala (Nsue 64), Burn (Husband 46), Friend (Fry 84), Kalas (Jackson 84), Carayol (Adomah 64), Downing (Wildschut 84), Forshaw (Maloney 84), Leadbitter (Clayton 64), Tomlin (Reach 46), Fewster (Kike 46). Subs not used: Ripley.

Attendance: 2,831