COURAGEOUS Town showed tremendous bottle under pressure to earn a vital point yesterday.
After Saturday's dismal home defeat against York City, it was essential for Peter Jackson's side to restore faith with both passion and points.
They achieved the objective thanks to Andy Booth's first goal since April and a bold defensive rearguard action after Leo Fortune-West had equalised to set cauldron Belle Vue bubbling.
Weaker teams would have buckled, but the strength of Town's resolve shone through in front of 2,200 travelling fans and was exemplified by the efforts of substitute Paul Scott.
He went on to partner skipper Efe Sodje at the heart of defence after Steve Yates suffered a recurrence of an old groin injury in the moment Fortune-West rose to head in Jamie Paterson's mis-cued shot.
That was just 71 seconds into the second half and breathed fresh fire into a Doncaster side already brimming from a promotion year, an unbeaten start to the League campaign and a lesson in motivation from manager Dave Penney at half time.
To his credit, Scott picked up the pace of the game just as quickly as some verbal taunts from Fortune-West and - never afraid to stick his head or foot into a challenge - he was soon in the thick of the action.
He needed to be!
The ferocity of Doncaster's onslaught left Town pinned in their own half for long spells and Jackson's men didn't help their own cause by giving the ball away far too carelessly.
Impressive Paul Green was always willing to capitalise for the home side and the pressure mounted as Fortune-West headed wide from 10 yards, the tricky Paterson had a shot beaten away smartly by the diving Ian Gray and Michael McIndoe saw a rasping drive tipped wide.
Paterson then drove a clear-cut chance wide with only 16 minutes left and Town's fans behind the goal holding their heads in disbelief.
It was only after that incident that Town started to create a bit of breathing space further up the pitch, with Tony Carss doing his best to make the midfield tick, but it all came at a damaging cost.
Three minutes into stoppage time at the end, Danny Schofield made a needlessly wild lunge at John Doolan and saw a straight red card for his tackle from behind.
It was a cruelly harsh decision for the Doncaster lad but typical of some poor decisions on the day from Worcester referee Mick Fletcher.
Schofield got a consoling pat from Jackson as he headed to the tunnel for the second time in his career, but both men know a three-match ban is the last thing Town need at this early stage.
Jackson had a few words of complaint with the referee as he left the pitch - a painful end to an afternoon which had started so well for his unchanged team on their first League visit in 20 years to this part of South Yorkshire.
Lee Fowler had goalkeeper Andy Warrington scampering back to field a quickly-taken free-kick with barely 90 seconds on the clock, but the rest of the Welshman's set pieces were poor and Town need to brush up on that element of their gameplan.
Jon Newby and John Thorrington also failed to produce any testing crosses, although it was from the latter's break and fluffed shot that Booth opened the scoring on seven minutes, with the aid of a post.
The goal came only moments after Martyn Booty had made a priceless block at the other end to deny Paterson from a Fortune-West knockdown, and Town might soon have been two in front.
Only 13 minutes were on the clock when Ian Hughes raided down the right and played the ball in to Carss, whose neat turn earned space for a left-foot drive which had Warrington on the deck to smother.
Green gave a warning of what was to come when sneaking behind Town's defence four minutes later - the back line seem slow on the turn at times - but his lob over the stranded Gray landed no more than a foot over the bar.
Doncaster's superior running off the ball then put Town on the back foot, and Carss showed his excellent workrate with a fine covering tackle on Paterson in the box.
The ex-Halifax man continued to be a problem and when his cross found the head of Fortune-West at the back post on 39 minutes he seemed certain to score but, somehow, he directed the ball wide.
It was a relief, after that, for Town to make half-time in the lead and had they held Doncaster for a spell in the second half they may well have pinched three points.
The home side were deservedly level in quicksticks, however, and tested Town's character and physical strength to the limit in a rip-roaring derby battle.
Scott, after slipping, made a recovery tackle which summed up the effort and spirit and Town now need to build on this result with a much-needed victory against Bristol Rovers at home on Saturday.
Ian Gray Handled well under pressure from massive Fortune-West and made a fine diving stop to deny Paterson. Rating: 7/10
Ian Hughes Never shirked a tackle in the sort of battle he enjoys. Only booked because of a bad pass from John Thorrington. Rating: 7/10
Martyn Booty Made a great block on Paterson to prevent a goal in the first five minutes. Had his work cut out throughout. Rating: 6/10
Steve Yates Made some strong challenges and unlucky to be booked before going off suffering a groin injury. Rating: 6/10
Efe Sodje Strong again as captain and had a rare old battle with powerful Fortune-West. Always quick to cover. Rating: 7/10
John Thorrington Threat of McIndoe gave him plenty to think about. Went close with a header but needed to get in more quality crosses. Rating: 5/10
Lee Fowler Had a couple of spells where he got on the ball but this was not his game. Wasted too many free-kicks. Rating: 5/10
Tony Carss Covered plenty of ground as Town's best midfielder and had a crisp first-half shot well saved by Warrington. Rating: 7/10
Jon Newby Never really settled on the left flank and had few opportunities by the time he was taken off with 21 minutes left. Rating: 5/10
Andy Booth Grabbed his first goal of the season to give Town the lead and had another effort booted clear. Worked hard. Rating: 7/10
Jon Stead Grafted against a tough opposition defence but didn't really get a sniff of a decent chance as Doncaster pressed. Rating: 6/10
Warrington, Marples, Ryan, Foster, Beech; Paterson, Doolan, Green, McIndoe; Blundell Fortune-West.
Subs not used: Richardson, Morley, Barnes, Ravenhill, Tierney.
STAR MAN: PAUL SCOTT
Rare for a substitute to get the vote, but he went on at the worst possible time after Doncaster had scored and made a telling contribution at centre-back alongside Sodje. Won plenty of headers and tackles and his passion helped earn a very valuable point.
A mis-hit shot by Paterson which turned into the perfect cross for striker Fortune-West to score. Town keeper Ian Gray, pictured, had no chance whatsoever and still hunts that elusive clean sheet.
Subs used: Town: Scott for Yates 47 mins, Schofield for Newby 69. Doncaster: None.
Subs not used: Town: Senior, Holdsworth, Holland. Doncaster: Richardson, Morley, Barnes, Ravenhill, Tierney.
Scorers: Doncaster: Fortune-West 47. Town: Booth 7.
Referee - Mick Fletcher (Worcester).
Dismisal: Town: Schofield 90.
Bookings: Doncaster: Paterson, Blundell, Fortune-West. Town: Yates, Hughes, Sodje.
Shots on target: Doncaster: 4, Town 3.
Corners: Doncaster 7, Town 3.
Caught offside: Doncaster 6, Town 4.
Free-kicks awarded: Doncaster 17, Town 13.