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Match Reports

Match Report : 28/11/2015

28 November 2015

Attendance: 5,548 (1,559)

Rovers were denied three points with a last gasp equaliser at Exeter City.

Stuart Sinclair's gave Rovers the lead with seven minutes to go but Jamie Reid's goal deep into injury time snatched a point for the home side.

Darrell Clarke made four changes to the side that lost against Stevenage on Tuesday night including handing Thursday's loan signing Rory Gaffney his debut. Daniel Leadbitter, Lee Mansell and Ollie Clarke also came into the starting 11 at the expense of Chris Lines, Paris Cowan-Hall, Billy Bodin and Jermaine Easter.

Rovers started very well in the game with both Rovers wingbacks causing the Exeter backline issues. Inside the opening five minutes loan signing Rory Gaffney beat his man on the left wing before looking for Lee Brown in the penalty area but his pass was just to hard for Brown to control.

Less than five minutes later Rovers tested Bobby Olejnik for the first time. Following a succession of corners from Lee Brown the ball was cleared to Stuart Sinclair on the edge of the area but his volley was palmed behind by the Austrian shotstopper.

Moments later Olejnik was called into action again, this time to deny Rory Gaffney his first goal for the club as he cut inside from the right hand side and let fly with his left foot only to see Olejnik save well.

Things settled down after a frantic start and Exeter began to grow into the game using Clinton Morrison of the main focal point of their attack.

With just over half an hour gone Morrison took the ball down well before laying the ball off to Jamie Reid who picked out David Wheeler who seemed to be through on goal only for Tom Parkes to recover fantastically winning the ball back in the Rovers penalty area.

At the other end of the field Rovers were having great success down the right flank ans Daniel Leadbitter seemingly had the better of ex-Bristol City man Craig Woodman but was unable to provide that vital cross to provide a goal.

Rovers came out early for the start of the second half raring to go and started very brightly in the second period. Inside the opening five minutes of the half Bobby Olejnik was on hand to deny Rory Gaffney before Matty Taylor put the ball in the back of the net only to get it ruled out for offside.

Minutes later Olejnik was on hand again to prevent Rovers from taking the lead as initially he denied Rory Gaffney from the edge of the area before the Exeter defence came to the rescue to block Ollie Clarke's follow up shot.

Darrell Clarke's side were dominating proceedings having a majority of possession and they started turning the screw on the home side. Initially Ollie Clarke's drive from range was deflected into the air only for Olejnik to react well and palm the ball behind for a corner.

From the resulting corner the ball fell to Ollie Clarke again who delivered a ball into the penalty area that caught out everyone including the keeper as his effort clipped the top of the crossbar.

With an hour on the clock City had their first real dangerous play of the half as James Clarke's poor back pass set David Wheeler through onto goal only for Tom Parkes to come sliding in before he could get his shot off.

Exeter never really troubled Lee Nicholls with the Rovers keeper not having to make a save. The home side's only real efforts on goal came from Alex Nicholls who twice tried his luck from range only to see both his efforts sail wide of the target.

Rovers continued to press for what seemed like would be the deciding goal as Stuart Sinclair was played through on the Rovers right. Sinclair battled with Craig Woodman before winning the ball with a sliding tackle then offloading the ball to Lee Brown. Brown steadied himself beofre taking a left footed shot but curled it just over the bar.

With just over 10 minutes of the game remaining Darrell Clarke freshened up his front two players as Ellis Harrison and Jermaine Easter replaced Matty Taylor and Rory Gaffney however it was fellow substitute Billy Bodin who squared the ball to Stuart Sinclair on the edge of the area who made no mistake firing emphatically past Bobby Olejnik to give Rovers a deserved lead.

Darrell Clarke's side had to withstand a late onslaught from Exeter and the home side drew level deep into injury time as Jamie Reid lashed home a ball in the penalty area to rescue a point for Exeter.

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Wycombe Wanderers to the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Exeter: Olejnik, Woodman (Nichols - 86), Noble (Holmes - 46), Harley, Davies, Morrison (Tollson - 57), Nicholls, Moore-Taylor (C), Reid, Wheeler, Brown.

Unused Substitutes: Hamon (GK), Grant, Nichols, Hamon, McCready, Watkins.

Rovers: Nicholls; Leadbitter (Bodin - 71), J. Clarke, Lockyer, Parkes, Brown; Mansell (C), O. Clarke, Sinclair; Taylor (Easter - 77), Gaffney (Harrison - 77).

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), McChrystal, Lines, Cowan-Hall.

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