Clarke left fuming at last-gasp equaliser
BRISTOL Rovers boss Darrell Clarke has urged his side to learn their lessons after Jamie Reid struck in stoppage time to earn Exeter an unlikely point.
Rovers bossed the game and were on course for all three points when Stuart Sinclair capped a man-of-the-match performance with a stunning 25-yard effort in the 83rd minute.
But Reid volleyed home in the 94th minute to break Rovers’ hearts – and leave Clarke fuming.
He said:“I am angry that we didn’t see the game out.
“We thoroughly deserved to win the game but they got a lucky deflection and the lad sticks it in the corner.
“The players are furious that we didn’t hold onto the three points.We will have to learn from it.
“You have to give Exeter credit, they kept going. I am just disappointed for our 1,600 fans that made it down here, that they are not celebrating three points.
“I have seen us play a lot of good football this season and I have said to the lads that it’s not our away form that’s costing us, it is at home.”
Only a stunning save from keeper Bobby Olejnik prevented Sinclair from firing Rovers into a 13th-minute lead.
The midfielder let fly from the edge of the box but Olejnik was equal to it with a smart save.
The Grecians keeper pulled off another terrific save, this time plunging to his right to keep out Rory Gaffney’s thunderbolt.
The nearest Exeter came in the first-half was a 25-yard free-kick by Alex Nicholls, which was tipped around the post by Pirates stopper Lee Nicholls.
Gaffney wasted a glorious chance when he headed Daniel Leadbitter’s cross wide and Olejnik continued to foil Rovers after the break, thanks to magnificent saves to thwart Gaffney twice and Ollie Clarke.
Rovers finally broke Exeter’s resistance on 83 minutes when Sinclair curled a 25-yard shot into the top corner.
But, with time running out, Reid rescued a point when he latched on to Arron Davies’ cross before finding the bottom corner.
And Exeter boss Paul Tisdale heaped praise on Reid for keeping his cool in stoppage time.
He said:“If you want the ball to drop to anyone in that situation, it’s Jamie.
“He is one of those players that doesn’t think, he just does it – and that is not being demeaning.
“That is to be applauded and that is how you want your players to play. So many players would have taken a touch there with it being on their wrong foot and tried to be sure, but he was committed to the volley.
“Maybe it wasn’t the sweetest volley you’ll ever see, but I don’t care. I was jumping up.”
STAR MAN STUART SINCLAIR Bristol