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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: Bristol Rovers 1 Exeter City 1

Our write-up of Saturdays clash with the Gas

26 February 2022

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Exeter City battled to an entertaining point away at Bristol Rovers.

Jevani Brown equalised for the Grecians in an action packed first half, in which Luca Hoole had opened the scoring for the hosts.

Brown hit the woodwork in the second as the visitors looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

Matt Jay and  Josh Coley could have stolen the win for Exeter in the dying moments, though Gas keeper James Belshaw remained vigilant.

The point means City stretch the unbeaten run to nine in the league.

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Matt Taylor opted for a familiar side to take on the in-form Rovers. Sam Stubbs recovered from a late test on his shoulder to take his place in the back line.

Buoyed on by the packed home crowd, the Gas had the better of the early exchanges and broke through in the tenth minute.

Luca Hoole squeezed his effort between Cam Dawson and the post after a low corner was swung in.

The first sighter for City came ten minutes later. Captain Mat Jay slghtly over hit a pass to the free Josh Key in the middle. A toe from the number 12 would have pulled City level.

City weathered the storm and grew into the game. Jake Caprice found some space on the left hand side and delivered a ball in. After a game of pinball, Jevani Brown had a go and picked out the top corner.

The game remained open and Rovers thought they had a second moments later. Another corner caused problems and Aaron Collins thought he’d bundled the ball over the line if not for Sam Nombe’s divine intervention.

Dawson had to remain alert to Connor Taylor’s long range drive. Comfortably nestling in the keeper’s midriff.

Rovers maintained their shoot on sight policy trying to capitalise on the strong headwinds. Dawson watched calmly as another Taylor shot flew into his arms.

Cam Dawson was forced into an instinctive save seconds into the second period. A weighted ball through deceived the City defence but Cam was quick off his line to stop Collins’ chance.

Five minutes into the half Cheick Diabate fell awkwardly and had to be stretchered off in a worrying blow for Matt Taylor. Jonathan Grounds was his replacement.

Taylor again seemed the likeliest, or at least the most keen, to put his side ahead. On this occasion he found a bit of space in the box and fired over.

Kieran Phillips was next to be introduced with just over twenty minutes to play for Sam Nombe. In the next attack City came within inches of taking the lead.

A long goal kick from Cam Dawson fell kindly to Jevani Brown on the wide left. A neat ball inside to MJ allowed the skipper to turn and shoot but the ball whistled past the post.

Jay then had another great chance on 75 minutes to find the net. Brown and Archie Collins worked the ball wide to Jay who fired straight at James Belshaw.

The Grecians then came within a whisker with Brown rattling the woodwork in trademark style. A cut inside to his left foot looked to pick out the top left corner. On this occasion Jevani could only find the upright.

Substitute Josh Coley had a gilt-edged chance to win it in the first minute of stoppage time. MJ poked the ball wide to the winger who could only place his effort wide.

Kieran Phillips missed the opportunity to net the winner reacting first to an Archie Collins free-kcik but he couldn’t direct his header goalward.

And that’s how it stayed as City picked up an important point on the road.

Bristol Rovers: Belshaw, Connolly, Finley (Loft 46’), Collins (Thomas 76’), Nicholson (Whelan 90’), E. Anderson, Coutts ©, Taylor, H. Anderson, Evans, Hoole

Subs: Jaakola, Thomas, Clarke, Anderton, Whelan, Nolan, Loft

Exeter City: Dawson, Caprice, Diabate (Grounds 53’), Stubbs, Sweeney, Key, Collins, Dieng, Jay ©, Brown (Coley 85’), Nombe (Phillips 69’)

Subs: S.Brown, Sparkes, Atangana, Phillips, Taylor, Grounds, Coley

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 9,689 (1128 away)

City travel to Nottinghamshire next Friday looking to return to winning ways. Book tickets here.


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