Exeter 1 Doncaster Rovers 3: Liam Mandeville inspires turnaround for high-flying Rovers

DONCASTER Rovers battled back from a goal down to maintain their place in the League Two automatic promotion places with a 3-1 win at Exeter.

Liam Mandeville
Liam Mandeville

Substitute Liam Mandeville was the architect for the come back as he scored one and made two others to down the hosts from the south coast.

Despite a frantic beginning, neither side could force a breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Rovers' topscorer this season, Tommy Rowe, drew a fine save from James Hamon from the edge of the box while Joe Wright headed a John Marquis cross over the bar.

The deadlock was soon broken after the restart but it went the way of the home team.

Rovers goalkeeper Marko Marosi was at fault as he conceded a penalty with a foul on David Wheeler and Reuben Reid smashed home the resultant spot-kick, despite Marosi guessing correctly.

Mandeville was then introduced by Darren Ferguson on 69 minutes and sparked a late turnaround, heading home the equaliser and setting up John Marquis for a brace.

It kept Rovers in third place in League Two, eight points behind runaway leaders Plymouth but now only one below Carlisle United in second.

In turn, Ferguson's side have a three-point cushion to the teams Portsmouth and Luton who both occupy play-off positions.

Exeter: Hamon, Stacey, Sweeney, Oakley, Woodman, Wheeler (Simpson 78), James, Taylor, Holmes, Watkins, Reid (Jay 83). Subs not used: Olejnik, Grant, McAlinden, Ripley-Lowe, Brown.

Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Mason (Mandeville 69), Wright (Alcock 57), Butler (Baudry 46), Evina, Houghton, Blair, Calder, Rowe, Coppinger, Marquis. Subs not used: Etheridge, Keegan, Beestin, Longbottom. Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)

Attendance: 3,540 (332 away)