It proved a controversial encounter in front of a record fourth-tier crowd at Bradford of 19,368 supporters.
Two moments of silly petulance from Rovers debutant Lee Tomlin, described as 'stupid' by Rovers manager Gary McSheffrey, left the visitors up against it.
Earlier, another player making his first appearance for a club saw his afternoon curtailed with Emmanuel Osadebe leaving the fray with a serious leg injury following an eighth-minute challenge from Liam Ravenhill.
After eight minutes of attention, Osadebe was stretchered off amid worrying scenes and taken to hospital. There are fears that the player has suffered a double leg-break, with McSheffrey insisting that the tackle was not 'intentional' from his player.
Despite playing with an extra man in the second half, City could not find a way through with Rovers making the game stop-start and breaking the action up with stoppages.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that City substitute Kian Harratt was shown a red card following the full-time whistle - after an altercation with Rovers goalkeeper Johnny Mitchell.
Hughes said: “19,000 people came here today to watch a game of football and unfortunately we didn’t really see one because the opposition didn’t want to engage.”
On the news regarding Osadebe, he continued: “It’s not good news. It could very well be a double break so, if that’s the case, there is an issue with ligaments as well.
“He’s going to be out for a significant amount of time and our thoughts are with him.
“It’s a new club and he’d been playing exceptionally well in pre-season and was looking forward to the season like we all were.
"To have it cut short like that is really emotional for everybody. You saw the reaction of the players – some were really affected by it."