'He showed real quality' - Matt Taylor's verdict on debutant's stunning goal for Bristol Rovers in Exeter City win

Brandon Aguilera was the difference maker for the Gas as they defeated Exeter City at St James Park on Saturday afternoon.
Former Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor, who has been linked with a move to League One club Bristol Rovers.Former Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor, who has been linked with a move to League One club Bristol Rovers.
Former Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor, who has been linked with a move to League One club Bristol Rovers.

Bristol Rovers got back to winning ways on the road as they beat Exeter City at St James Park to secure back-to-back wins in League One.

The Gas took the the lead inside the opening quarter of an hour as debutant Brandon Aguilera scored an absolute rocket with his left foot, which flew into the top corner after a loose ball in the Exeter final third. The result produced Rovers' first clean sheet under Matt Taylor.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He (Aguilera) showed real quality in amongst bodies," said Taylor. "He's got to learn when to do it and when not to do it but that'll come. I don't want to overthink his game and I can't wait for bodies to come back and maybe we can see him in a slightly higher profile."

With the likes of Grant Ward and Sam Finley out injured, it meant the Costa Rican made his debut slightly deeper in the midfield. "He (Aguilera) is probably playing one deeper than he wants to play, but we just wanted to play his first game with the game in front of him. The goal looked like a moment where he could come onto the ball as opposed to his first experience of lower league English football and League One football being over your shoulders and back and forth. Sometimes that's a horrible place to be in midfield ,so I just wanted him to have the picture in front of him." The 20-year-old produced an absolute stunner which sent the Gasheads into chaos behind Vil Sinisalo's goal. "At the time I didn't realise their defender got blocked by the referee, but I'm not sure he's getting there anyway," said Taylor. "A shift and a shot and a strike of severe quality and that's been enough to win us the game, I actually really liked his first-half."

Rovers dug deep and held onto the three points, which produced their first away victory in the league since mid December. "In the second-half we had to ride a little bit of a storm. As much as I'm pleased with the three points, I am really pleased in relation with backing up the win from last weekend. That's the first clean sheet since I've seen at the club and I've been asking and begging, driving for that because I know how important they are because we will generally create chances."

The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and goalkeeper Jed Ward continued to keep the Gas ahead as the final 20 minutes approached. The youngster was excellent once again in between the sticks and made one final crucial save when he tipped over Reece Cole's freekick onto the crossbar, putting in another man of the match performance.

The victory moved the Gas into 10th position in the table, meanwhile the hosts stayed in 17th.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.