League One basement clubs Crewe and Doncaster did not have the guile to prise a much-needed victory from a poor quality clash at Gresty Road which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Chris Porter headed the Railwaymen ahead, but Joseph Olowu had Rovers level before the interval. It left Crewe rooted to the bottom of table without a win in nine games and Rovers only marginally better off, three points and a place above with both facing a long, hard winter.

Olowu posed the first threat of the game when he drove forward impressively, but his effort from 20 yards was not so classy and flew well over.

After half an hour lacking creativity from both sides a succession of corners produced the opening goal for Crewe in the 33nd minute. From the second Tommy Lowery’s cross looked to be heading out but was retrieved at the far post by Billy Sass-Davies, allowing Porter the chance to sink a close-range header.

Rovers were level in similar direct fashion in first-half stoppage time when full-back Olowu nipped across his marker and steered Ro-Shaun Williams’ curling cross past Dave Richards into the corner.

Porter was looking to add to his tally after the break, but the veteran striker was thwarted by keeper Pontus Dahlberg who got in the way of a fierce rising drive.

It was Donny who looked more likely to grab a decisive finish. They caught the hosts out from their own free-kick and broke swiftly with Tiago Cukur setting up Ethan Galbraith, whose header and follow-up were blocked by Richards.

Crewe were on the back foot again when Tommy Rowe’s ball put Cukur clear, but the striker skewed his finish wide.