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Exeter 1 Rovers 3

12 November 2016

Substitute Liam Mandeville inspired a Rovers fightback as they came from a goal down to claim victory at Exeter City.

Exeter City 1
(Reid 52pen)
Doncaster Rovers 3
(Mandeville 73, Marquis 78, 90)
Saturday, November 12
St James' Park, Exeter
Sky Bet League Two

Substitute Liam Mandeville inspired a Rovers fightback as they came from a goal down to claim victory at Exeter City.

The Grecians threatened to claim their first home Sky Bet League Two win over the season when Reuben Reid powered home a penalty after 52 minutes, but Rovers fought back to score twice in five minutes.

Mandeville was key in the revival, powering home a header to level the score then provided the deliveries which John Marquis twice smashed home.

Darren Ferguson made a number of changes from the Checkatrade Trophy draw with Port Vale. Marko Marosi returned in goal, while Andy Butler was fit after his injury scare at Oldham Athletic last week. James Coppinger and Tommy Rowe also came back after missing the two cup games through a combination of being rested/knocks.

The early exchanges were even, with the home side throwing the ball quickly into the Rovers box twice in the opening minute.

Rovers looked assured in possession, with one smart move seeing the ball quickly switched from the right to left wing but there was no one at the far post for Cedric Evina's deep delivery - in part because John Marquis was involved earlier in the move.

The home side were handed a great opportunity after nine minutes when they won a central free-kick about 25 yards out. Lee Holmes lifted the ball over the Rovers wall, but it was a simple stop for Marosi low at his bottom-left corner.

Rovers were the next to threaten from a set-piece after 14 minutes, with Butler looping a header over from a Coppinger corner.

Exeter had a succession of corners and set-pieces as they tried to force the agenda, but they were almost undone after 23 minutes when Riccardo Calder led a quick counter along with Marquis and Coppinger. Coppinger was eventually outmuscled in the area. 

A minute later he had another opportunity, from a central free-kick, but lifted the ball high into the home terrace beind the goal.

Chances were then harder to come by, with Tommy Rowe going closest with a good run through the middle but his powerful shot was straight down the throat of James Hamon who comfortably held the ball.

Marquis also got away down the left and delivered a cross to Joe Wright, who got up well but could only direct his header over.

Coppinger managed the best chance of the game after 39 minutes. A delivery from the left found Coppinger, who got a quick shot away which Hamon did well to block.

Rovers enjoeyd the best of the final few minutes of the game, with two chances from defensive errors.

First a clearance was intercepted by Coppinger, who fed Blair, only for the later to slice his left-footed shot well wide. A minute later the roles were reversed, with Blair nicking the ball and trying to find 

Coppinger. This time the assistant's flag brought an end to proceedings.

HALF-TIME: Exeter City 0 Rovers 0

Rovers made one change at the break, with Mathieu Baudry coming on in place of Butler.

Rovers fell behind after 53 minutes when a long ball into the area found David Wheeler. Marosi came rushing out to try and deal with the threat, but fouled the Grecians man.

Reid stepped up and powered a shot past Marosi into the bottom left corner.

Ferguson reacted by making his second change of the game, with Craig Alock coming on for Joe Wright. This was accompanied with a tactical change, with a switch to a back three.

That brought more of the ball for Rovers, but chances were still at a premium. Coppinger's set-piece deliveries were a real problem, with Blair unable to direct a header back across goal after a free-kick from the captain.

Ferguson made his final susbtitution with 20 mintes to go, as Liam Mandeville came off the bench in place of Niall Mason.

That change made all the difference. as within a few minutes the youngster had equalised - rising highest to power home a header from a Coppinger deliver.

Mandeville was also instrumental in Rovers taking the lead after 78 minutes. He collected the ball on the right, ran towards goal, and played in a low cross which the onrushing Marquis smashed into the net.

Mandeville again was instrumental in the third goal. He led a quick counter-attack, then fed Marquis who again left Hamon with no chance as he smashed the ball home.

FULL-TIME: Exeter City 1 Rovers 3

ROVERS | Marosi, Mason (Mandeville), Butler (Baudry), Wright (Alock), Evina, Houghton, Calder, Blair, Coppinger (c), Rowe, Marquis. ROVERS SUBS | Etheridge, Baudry, Keegan, Beestin, Longbottom. BOOKED | Marosi, Rowe
EXETER XI | Hamon, Woodman, James, Holmes, Wheeler (Simpson), Watkins, Oakley, Taylor, Stacey, Sweeney, Reid (Jay). EXETER SUBS | Grant, McAlinden,  Riley-Lowe, Brown, Olejnik.
ATTENDANCE | 3,540 (332 away)

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