Rovers 2-0 Exeter
Bristol Rovers saw off another high flying side by securing victory against Exeter at the Memorial Stadium tonight.
Rovers rose to 15th in the table beating the Grecians 2-0.
Oli Norburn opened the scoring just after the 20 minute mark, helped by a fumble from Exeter keeper Artur Krysiak, and Lee Brown made certain of the three points after slamming home a wonder strike with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
Rovers limited Exeter to very few chances in front of goal, and did well to keep danger man Jamie Cureton quiet.
John Ward was forced to make one change to the side that beat Burton 3-0 at the weekend. Joe Anyinsah was still suffering from a tweaked hamstring, so Oli Noburn started in his place.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition squad, with former Gas players Danny Coles, Pat Baldwin and Jamie Cureton starting for the Grecians.
It was a fast paced opening exchange, with plenty of free flowing football, and it was Rovers who had the best of the chances in front of goal.
John-Joe O’Toole had the first half effort for Rovers on two minutes, which was blocked by Pat Baldwin, before Eliot Richards saw a shot go narrowly wide just before the ten minute mark.
Tom Parkes had a header turned around the post by the keeper, and O’Toole’s header from the resulting corner was saved by Krysiak.
At the other end Danny Coles had a shot from close range that was cleared by Steve Mildenhall.
Then Norburn got the opener. The midfielder picked up the ball from O’Toole and shot on sight from 30 yards. The ball slipped under the body of the keeper and into the back of the net.
Parkes had another half chance at goal, but his shot went wide of the right hand post.
The hardworking Richards saw a shot blocked by Coles as the first half drew to a close with little further incident.
Exeter made two changes at the break with Jake Gosling and Jimmy Keohane coming on for Tommy Docherty and John O’Flynn, but they still found themselves wanting in front of goal.
Ryan Brunt attempted an overhead kick inside the box, but his shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper.
And minutes later Brunt had another chance. The striker did well to get hold of the ball, but his shot was wild and went high over the bar.
Scott Bennett had a chance with a header for the visitors, but his shot went just wide, and then Mildenhall gathered a cross from Arron Davies.
Richards had a shot form 25 yards out that was saved by the keeper, before Fabian Broghammer came on to replace Ellis Harrison.
Richards had a couple more half chances and Brunt did well to muscle his way on the ball and get a shot on target.
Then on 81 minutes Lee Brown secured the win for Rovers with a stunning strike.
The ball was held up by Brunt to allow Brown to cut inside and smash the ball with his left foot from a tight angle 25 yards out.
Tom Hitchcock was brought on to replace Richards, who was given the man of the match award.
Mildenhall made a save from the head of Scott Bennett as the final few minutes ticked down and Rovers made a final substitution with Clayton McDonald coming on for Danny Woodards.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Ellis Harrison (Fabian Broghammer), Danny Woodards (Clayton McDonald), John-Joe O’Toole, Oliver Norburn, Ryan Brunt, Eliot Richards (Tom Hitchcock)
Substitutes: Jim Paterson, Oumare Tounkara, Tom Lockyer, Conor Gough
Exeter City: Artur Krysiak, Craig Woodman, Scott Bennett, Pat Baldwin, Danny Coles, Kevin Amankwaah (Guillem Bauza), Matt Oakley, Arron Davies, Tommy Docherty (Jimmy Keohane), John O'Flynn (Jake Gosling), Jamie Cureton.
Substitutes: Rhys Evans, Steve Tully, Aaron Dawson, Jordan Moore-Taylor