Single goal win against Exeter this afternoon
Bristol Rovers 1
Harding (pen, 61)
Exeter City 0
Marcus Stewart took charge of our development team for their first match today and saw his side beat a strong Exeter City team 1-0 courtesy of Mitch Harding’s second half penalty.
There was a great deal of effort and endeavour from both teams in the opening 45 minutes, but little in the way of clear cut scoring opportunities.
Both goalkeepers, apart dealing well with routine crosses and balls into the box, had very little to do.
Matt Macey did make one comfortable stop early in the game, while the closest his counterpart in the Exeter goal came to being beaten was on 22 minutes when Ollie Clarke headed over the bar.
Rovers played much better after the break and took the game to their more experienced opponents.
Tom Lockyer headed wide of the target on 58 minutes and three minutes later Rovers took the lead.
Harding combined well with Ellis Harrison, who saw his shot saved by the Exeter goalkeeper with his legs. The loose ball spun away to Jordan Goddard, whose goalbound shot was cleared off the line by an Exeter defender. However in making the clearance he fell on the ball and it struck his arm.
The referee awarded a penalty and Harding’s spot kick went in off the post to give Rovers the lead.
Macey was called into action for the first time in the game and he did well to keep out a free kick from the edge of the box that seemed destined for the top corner of the net. However he dived to his left to touch the ball round the post.
Josh Southway then set up a chance for Harrison, who drew the keeper off his line but directed his shot wide of goal.
The final chance of the match fell to Southway, who saw his shot saved comfortably by the visiting keeper.
Rovers: Matt Macey, Sam Kamara (Danny Greenslade, 46), Tom Lockyer, Trey Anderson, Ross Staley, Dominic Thomas (Josh Southway, 46), Ollie Clarke, Alefe Santos (Connor Finn, 59), Jordan Goddard, Mitch Harding, Ellis Harrison