Half-time: Exeter City 1 Bristol Rovers 1
Former Rovers striker Jamie Cureton has grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half-time to cancel out David Clarkson's early opener at St James' Park this afternoon.
Cureton converted a loose ball inside the six-yard box in first-half stoppage-time after Matt Oakley's shot across the face of goal fell kindly to him on one of the rare occassions on which Exeter had got in behind.
Clarkson had opened the scoring inside five minutes when capitalising on Exeter full-back Craig Woodman's failure to control a high ball on his knee.
The Scotsman raced into the penalty area, evaded a Danny Coles challenge, and clinically placed a left-foot finish past goalkeeper Artur Krysiak.
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It proved to one of very few meaningful opportunities for Rovers in an opening period where they have generally played well, whilst limiting Exeter to only a couple of other chances themselves.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge denied the best of those when producing a superb save to nip the ball off Cureton's toe when the pair went one-on-one in the 23rd minute.
Former Rovers central defender Danny Coles also went close to grabbing an equaliser in the 32nd minute – but glanced a near post header just wide after getting to an Arron Davies corner first.
McGhee had handed debuts to loan signings Derek Riordan and Tom Eaves. Riordan, a three-times capped Scotland international, has shown a few nice touches but is clearly lacking match sharpness after not playing for a number of months, whilst Eaves has showcased a good some intelligent link-up play – but should have done better with a chance on the stroke of half-time.
The two strikers were paired together up front, with Clarkson filling in on the right-hand side of midfield. Jim Paterson also returned at left-back following a two-game absence in place of Lee Brown, who dropped to the bench. Adam Virgo also returned to the starting-line up at right-back to replace Michael Smith, who is on compassionate leave following the death of his father earlier this week.
Rovers (4-4-2): Etheridge; Virgo, Kenneth, Parkes, Paterson; Clarkson, Norburn, Gill, Broghammer; Riordan, Eaves. Subs: Walker, Richards, L Brown, W Brown, Anyinsah, Clucas, Lund.
Exeter City (4-4-1-1): Krysiak; Amankwaah, Coles, Baldwin, Woodman; Oakley, Bennett, Doherty, Davies; Gow; Cureton. Subs: Evans, Tully, O'Flynn, Bauza, Keohane, Jagger-Cane, Moore-Taylor.