Manager John Ward made one change to the starting line up that beat Crawley in midweek.
Ellis Harrison started the game in place of David Clarkson who dropped to the bench. Foe Exeter from Rovers defender Danny Coles started at the heart of Exeter’s defence and midfielder Matt Gill was on the bench. Rovers should have took the lead early on when Ellis Harrison made a ggod run down the wing and found Richards free in front of goal, but somehow managed to shoot wide of the open goal.
Rovers went behind on 20 minutes when Lee Brown challenged Exeter’s David Wheeler and the ball spun over Steve Mildenhall to put Exeter 1-0 up. With in one minute Rovers were level, Eliot burst in to the box and was fouled by Danny Butterfield. O’Toole stepped up and slotted the penalty home to make it 1-1.
Exeter came out strong in the second half but was only given half chances by Rovers, Steve Mildenhall did save well from Gow and Smith was on hand to clear the ball. Danny Woodards was brought on by Ward with 10 minutes to, it was Woodards first appearance this season. It was like the game was heading for a draw, but on 90 minutes sub Chris Beardsley did well down the wing and delivered a ball in to the box which O’Toole volleyed home to make it 2-1 to Rovers.
Next up for Rovers is an away trip to Birmingham City in the Third Round of the F.A Cup on Tuesday night. Rovers moved up to 21st in League Two after today’s win.
Paul Tisdale Exeter Manager
‘We have given away two bad goals, one of them straight from the kick-off after we scored, and the result is all that counts.
‘I threw on two attacking substitutes and ended the game with three strikers because I felt we were on top in the second half and could go on to win.
‘But we have to defend better. Some of our younger players did extremely well again, which is a positive, but some of the experienced ones are letting them down.
‘We have lost too many games that we should have won or at least drawn over the past month or so, which is disappointing.’
‘My players are developing a strong mental approach to go with excellent physical fitness and we have come from behind to win for the second time in a week.
‘It’s such an important result for us. Had we lost we would have been 12 points behind Exeter, but now the gap is six and we can look towards mid-table.
‘Whether we deserved it or not I’ll leave to others to judge, but we stood firm in the second half when Exeter put us under pressure and that gave us the chance to win.’