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Bennett: “A hard blow to take”

11 January 2014

Scot gives verdict on Rovers defeat

Scot Bennett admitted that conceding a winner in the last minute of stoppage time was a particularly galling way of losing to local rivals Bristol Rovers.

John-Joe O’Toole struck to make it 2-1 in the 93rd minute to sink City without giving the Grecians chance to reply – but Bennett feels it is important to not let it affect the players negatively in the forthcoming week if they want to target a result against Morecambe at St James Park next weekend.

“It’s a hard blow to take, and I think some of the boys will go away tonight feeling really disappointed,” he explained.  “But I think we need to get it out of our heads as quickly as we can so that we can concentrate on having a decent week’s training and hopefully push on and start winning some games.

“Morecambe is a massive game for us, because we need to pick up some points – we need to start climbing up the table again.  And we need to win at home, so hopefully we can have a good week training and then we can push on next weekend and get the three points that we thoroughly need.”

Within 60 seconds of the Pirates taking the lead for the first time, the referee blew up for full-time.  But disappointingly for Bennett, City’s own lead – courtesy of a Lee Brown own-goal – barely lasted a minute before the Grecians had conceded a penalty which O’Toole converted to restore parity.

It was the first time this season that the Grecians had failed to take three points after scoring first – and Scot admitted that mistakes across the field had contributed to surrendering the lead so quickly, and then also to conceding the game’s crucial goal.

And while City had been pushing for the winner in the second half and had looked the team most likely to take maximum points, it was a failure to convert good chances and moves at the other end of the field that ultimately cost City a winning goal.

“We managed to get in the lead today, which we’ve been asking to do in the past few weeks and to push on from there,” he continued.  “But as soon as we got in the lead we had a couple of silly mistakes and they got through to get the penalty.

“And to give away the winner – it was six or seven silly mistakes, and they’ve pulled the ball back – and it’s a great finish from O’Toole to be fair, but we’ve got to do better than that.  We had been the better team until then.

“I know that it was a fluky goal for us, but you’ve got to have your luck sometimes.  With that going in, you think that perhaps it could be our day – but 30 seconds later we let them back into the game.

“The performances have been there over the past could of weeks.  We’ve played well, we’ve passed the ball well, and we’ve created chances – but we’re not taking the chances.  And we need to cut out our mistakes and then hopefully we can push on and win some games.”

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