Match Report: Doncaster Rovers 1 Preston North End 1

Rovers joy: Goal scorer Nathan Tyson and his teammates celebrate his goal to level the scores.
Rovers joy: Goal scorer Nathan Tyson and his teammates celebrate his goal to level the scores.
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Nathan Tyson pounced with a stoppage-time equaliser to earn Doncaster Rovers a richly deserved share of the spoils against Preston North End.

Chris Humphrey had given Preston the lead midway through the second half with a wonder strike - very much against the run of play.

Doncaster Rovers' Rob Jones in action against Preston North End - before injury struck

Doncaster Rovers' Rob Jones in action against Preston North End - before injury struck

But Tyson came off the bench to earn Rovers a point following a much-improved display from the weekend.

Paul Dickov must have thought the world was caving in beneath him when talismanic skipper Rob Jones was forced off after just 12 minutes, nursing his neck - an injury which wrecked his last season.

But his team responded in admirable fashion, creating much the better of the chances against a well-fancied Preston outfit, passing the ball with more precision than they did in the defeat to Port Vale, and battling to the very last whistle to rescue a well-earned point.

Marc De Val impressed in his first league start of the season, while Kyle Bennett and James Coppinger linked the Rovers’ midfield and forward-line impressively.

A confident-looking Preston did the early pressing and defender Bailey Wright went close from distance, while Josh Brownhill shot wide.

Jones went off early on the advice of the club doctor after agitating the neck injury that kept him out for nine months.

But, far from sulk at what could potentially be a huge blow, Rovers responded defiantly to the setback and took the game to their opponents for the remainder of the half.

After some patient passing build-up, Bennett saw an effort deflected just wide.

Coppinger, who had twice tried his luck from distance, then embarked upon a trademark run from half way but saw his shot saved by Jamie Jones.

Coppinger went close again after a quick break and from the resultant corner De Val hammered North End’s half clearance just wide as Rovers, who had kept the visitors at arm’s length, attempted to turn the screw.

Doncaster began the second half in similarly bright fashion and came close to breaking the deadlock in spectacular fashion - only for Jones to back-pedal and just keep out De Val’s audacious free kick from 40 yards out.

At the other end Alan Browne forced a save from Jed Steer and Brownhill then sent a free kick just wide to serve as what turned out to a timely reminder of Preston’s quality.

For it was the aftermath of another set-piece from which Preston broke the deadlock.

Steer’s weak punch from a free kick on the left was only half cleared to Humphrey who lashed a superb first time effort into the top far corner.

Rovers were finding North End a tougher nut to crack in the second half in terms of creating openings, and Steer twice had to prevent substitute Andy Little from doubling the deficit - but Tyson had the final word with a dramatic and well deserved late leveller - his first strike of the season.