It was always going to be about much more than football as Exeter resumed their season by playing their first game since the death of striker Adam Stansfield. The club made a good job of marking the occasion without going over the top. Particularly moving was the way that the away fans started the minutes applause before Barry Fulls even had a chance to finish the announcement - they were a credit to their club.
The game itself was much better than you might expect for such an emotional charged match. Exeter took an early lead through Nardiello who then limped off later in the half. Rovers always looked dangerous and were level at half-time through Kuffour who was a handful throughout. Duffy was sent off for City within minutes of the restart for bringing down the last man and when Rovers took the lead a few minutes later it looked like it was going to end in defeat for Exeter. O'Flynn (the second new signing to score today) impressed throughout though and with fifteen minutes to go scored a penalty to earn a point. A good result considering Exeter played with 10 men for half the game.
A deserved draw, City are looking strong on this showing and once the team settles (they were without Harley and Taylor today - arguably their best players) we should be safe from the last match of the season nerves that we had last year when a goal ten minutes from time kept us up. If we keep this side - and more importantly this manager, I predict mid-table with a sniff at the play-offs which is never quite realised.