01.10.22 Match Report Exeter v Rovers

Rovers bring a point back to BS7.

A late equaliser from Ryan Loft secured a point for Rovers in a game which saw four second-half goals.

Joey Barton made four changes to the side that took to the pitch against Accrington Stanley. Antony Evans, John Marquis, Jordan Rossiter and Luca Hoole were all recalled to the starting line-up in the place of Paul Coutts, Alfie Kilgour, Trevor Clarke and Harry Anderson.

The first effort at goal in the tie fell to Rovers. Aaron Collins picked the ball up inside the Exeter half and drove towards goal. As the Exeter defenders backed off the Rovers forward, options opened up for Aaron. John Marquis had pulled away from his marker but Aaron opted for the shot, which was hit well but zipped past the far post of former Rovers goalkeeper Jamal Blackman's goal.

The first half offered little in the way of other goalscoring opportunities with neither 'keeper being called into action. The sides exited the field at half time with the scores level.

Exeter started the second half strongly. A flurry of chances caused concern for Belshaw and the Rovers no.1 was relieved to see Stansfield's effort crucially deflected away from his goal.

Rovers took the lead just past the hour mark. Ryan Loft did well to pick out Aaron Collins, who clipped the ball towards the back post where Marquis was Johnny(Marquis)-on-the-spot to smash the ball into the back of the net to send the 1,200 Gasheads behind the goal crazy.


Exeter was awarded a controversial penalty with 20 minutes left to play. Antony Evans was adjudged to have pulled Jack Sparkes to the ground and referee Bourne was quick to point to the spot. Jevani Brown made no mistake with his spot kick, going hard and low to Belshaw's left to level the scores.

Exeter took the lead just past the 80-minute mark. A Rovers free-kick was cut out by the hosts and sent upfield where, after a communication mix-up, saw the ball bounce over Belshaw's head and left Sam Nombe with an empty net to tap into.

Rovers refused to lie down though. Joey Barton introduced Sylvester Jasper for Luke McCormick as the game's final stages drew closer. It proved to be an inspired substitution when the winger sent the ball into the box as the clock ticked to 93 minutes and Ryan Loft was on hand to head home the equaliser to secure a point for Rovers in Devon.


Next up for Joey Barton's side is the visit of Crystal Palace U21's to The Mem in our latest Papa Johns Trophy group stage encounter on Tuesday, 4th October (19:00pm).

EXETER CITY: Blackman, Caprice, Key, Sweeney, Hartridge, Sparkes, Harper, Collins, J.Brown, Nombe, Stansfield.

Subs: S.Brown, Borges, Chauke, Jay, Smith, Cox

BRISTOL ROVERS: Belshaw, Hoole, Thomas, Gordon, Finley (c), Marquis, Collins, Loft, McCormick, Evans, Rossiter.

Subs: Jaakkola, Whelan, Kilgour, Saunders, Coutts, Jasper, Clarke.

Referee: Declan Bourne

Attendance: 7,816 (1,232 away)

Read Time: 3 mins