City fought back from 1-0 down to emerge with a draw against Hartlepool United in what was a largely uneventful contest at Victoria Park
With chances at a premium throughout the 90 minutes, it was the home team that broke the deadlock on the hour mark courtesy of an emphatic Jonathan Franks finish.
The Tigers responded 12 minutes later as Cameron Stewart was quickest to react to Scott Flinders’ parry and tapped home from six yards.
Steve Bruce started the afternoon with a strong starting XI after a mid-week defeat to Doncaster Rovers. Robert Koren returned to the side after illness forced him out of the game at the Keepmoat while Abdoulaye Faye, meanwhile, made his debut for City in the heart of defence.
After an uneventful first 20 minutes City had their first meaningful chance when Sone Aluko blasted over the crossbar from distance after receiving a pass from Dawson.
On the half hour mark City once again tried their luck from distance, with Cameron Stewart’s effort flashing past the post.
Seven minutes later Stewart again found himself in a good position after being fed through by Aaron Mclean
, but again his effort was wide of the mark.
Faye was brought into action on the stroke of half time when blocking a cross from Luke James following a well thought out free-kick routine from Hartlepool.
Hartlepool took the lead on the hour mark when Jonathan Franks smashed the ball into the roof of the net from inside the area.
Matty Fryatt had a half-chance to get the Tigers back into the game when latching onto a ball from Cameron Stewart on 70 minutes but his opportunistic header from distance lacked the accuracy to trouble Flinders in the Hartlepool goal.
City did manage to level the scores two minutes later though, as substitute Jamie Devitt’s long-range drive was parried by Flinders, allowing for Stewart to tap in from close range.