The introduction of Ben Close earned Pompey plaudits for his Keepmoat Stadium impact.
But fellow half-time substitute Brett Pitman also warranted recognition following the vastly-improved Blues second half in the goalless draw.
And Kenny Jackett has praised the attitude of last season’s top scorer during his ongoing starting XI absence.
Pitman found himself on the bench once more at Doncaster, despite a midweek assist for Ronan Curtis’ late winner at Bristol Rovers.
The former Bournemouth player finds himself out of the side, relinquishing the captaincy to Gareth Evans and without a goal this season.
But Jackett has praised the striker’s approach to the frustrating situation.
The Blues boss said: ‘Brett is always looking for that goal.
‘Probably his chance was the free-kick and we really did need to hit the target and test the keeper (midfielder Ben Whiteman) there, it would have been important.
‘He’s been out of the team for a couple of games and his attitude in training has been good.
‘No player is happy to be out of the team but, similarly, if we are going to do anything then we need a deeper squad than last year and that has been proven already.
‘He has shown a good attitude and we will continue to work away.
‘Maybe it was a consideration to start him after Bristol Rovers, that’s always something I consider and think about.
‘Similarly, the flow of the game with Oli starting sometimes and then Brett coming on is something I think could be a good combination.’
Hawkins was handed his fourth-consecutive league start this season for the trip to South Yorkshire.
Yet with Pompey almost entirely asked to defend during the opening 45 minutes, he was starved of service.
Regardless, Jackett opted to remove the striker at the interval, along with Ben Thompson, with Pitman and Close introduced.
Jackett added: ‘It was tough back to front, we didn’t have enough flow through. It wasn't really anything to do with the two lads coming off at half-time, we needed to change the flow of the game, that’s all.
‘The first half was Doncaster’s and, while they didn't really have real clear-cut chances through our own good defending, it was one-way traffic up to half-time.
‘For the second period we went toe-to-toe and looked like scoring.’