Doncaster Rovers battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday in an entertaining pre-season friendly at the Keepmoat Stadium this afternoon.
Goals either side of half-time from Atdhe Nuhiu and Michail Antonio put the visitors in charge.
But strikes from Marc De Val and Kyle Bennett in the space of 14 minutes ensured it finished honours.
Wednesday boss Stuart Gray handed a second successive start to Slovenian international Dejan Kelhar. The 30-year-old is a centre-back who featured in the Owls’ warm-up match with FC Arsenal Tula last week.
The Owls, missing injured duo Lewis Buxton (knee) and Jose Semedo (groin), opted to rest summer signing Keiren Westwood, with Chris Kirkland returning in between the sticks after recovering from concussion.
Rovers fielded three trialists; Ben Williams, Cedric Evina and Nathan Tyson. Three first-year pros were named on the bench.
Wednesday went close to breaking the deadlock in the fifth minute following a move on the right flank involving Giles Coke, Caolan Lavery and Liam Palmer. Worksop-born Palmer floated in a teasing cross which Nuhiu met with a looping header, forcing Ben Williams to tip it over the crossbar.
Moments later, the Owls survived a huge scare as Tyson latched on to Bennett’s tame strike and rounded Chris Kirkland but he fell over and the ball ran away from the striker and the chance disappeared.
Jacques Maghoma stung the palms of Williams on the quarter of hour mark as the Owls continued to press for the opener.
It took a superb block by Kamil Zayatte to prevent the lively Harry Forrester from testing the reflexes of Kirkland.
Rovers, who were watched from an executive box by fan and pop sensation Louis Tomlinson of One Direction, had a good penalty shout turned down when Tyson appeared to be bundled to the ground by Jeremy Helan but referee Mark Brown wasn’t interested.
Lavery wriggled past Liam Wakefield midway through the half and was denied a clear sight at goal by Scott Brown, who slid in to defelect his drive out for a corner.
Antonio missed a glorious opportunity to put the visitors ahead, steering a header off target inside the six-yard box following a great cross by Lee.
There was a major worry for Wednesday when Kirkland stayed down on the ground for several minutes after an aerial collision with the dangerous Tyson but the former England international eventually got to his feet and the match continued.
Forrester fizzed a free kick inches wide following a clumsy challenge by Kelhar on Tyson in and end to end first period.
But Wednesday got their noses in front in the 42nd minute after a sublime run and cross by Jacques Maghoma. He carried the ball 40 plus yards before whipping in a delightful right footed delivery, allowing Nuhiu to nod home from close range. It was the big striker’s second goal in four warm-up matches.
Maghoma was the architect for Wednesday’s second, drilling in a low footed cross which Antonio calmly slammed past Williams.
But the visitors joy was short-lived as substitute De Val ghosted in unmarked to sidefoot a volley past following good build up play on the right flank by Tyson and Bennett.
Lavery was taken off in the 58th minute after picking up an injury, giving Gary Madine an opportunity to impress.
Bennett levelled things up in the 64th minute, curling in an unstoppable free kick from 25 yards out.
Williams produced a fine stop to deny Antonio after substitute Chris Maguire’s free-kick caused mayhem inside Rovers six-yard box.
At the other end, Forrester dragged a shot well wide following a short free kick by Bennett.
Rhys McCabe, a second half replacement for Kieran Lee, tried his luck from distance ater more patient play by Wednesday but it drifted narrowly off target.
Rovers: Williams, Brown, Wakefield, McCullough, Evina, Forrester, Bennett, Tyson, Keegan (De Val HT), Furman, Robinson. Substitutes: Trialist, Peterson, Middleton, J McKay, Gordon, Whitehouse, P McKay.
Wednesday: Kirkland, Palmer, Helan (Mattock 72), Coke (Hutchinson 60), Zayatte (Loovens 60), Kelhar, Antonio, Lee (McCabe 72), Nuhiu (Maguire 60), Lavery (Madine 58), Maghoma. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Sanders, Floro, Corry, Young.