Matt Taylor enjoyed a triumphant return to former club Exeter and hailed a first clean sheet since his arrival as Bristol Rovers manager in December.

On-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder Brandon Aguilera marked his Rovers debut with the only goal of the game, a stunning strike from 20 yards that flew into the top corner, after just 15 minutes at St James Park.

“I really liked us first half, we had a few more chances and bar Chris (Martin)’s chance in the second half we had to weather a bit of a storm,” Taylor said. “As much as I am pleased with the three points, I am delighted we backed up the win from last weekend.

“That is the first clean sheet since I have been at the club and I have been begging for that as I know how important they are as we will create chances.

“It was an honest performance from start to finish. Not many times have I been able to select George Friend and James Wilson two games on the bounce.

“I want us to have more in our legs as the game progresses to take the pressure off us with the ball. We didn’t do that well enough in the second half but the first half was as good as I have seen us in a long time.

“Exeter have got some quality and beat us 10 days ago. That hurt, there is no hiding away from that fact.

“It was important we put those wrongs right today. Generally I am pleased where we are at.”

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell cut a frustrated figure at full-time.

He said: “It was a frustrating day and very disappointing. Obviously when you lose any game it’s disappointing.

“I thought we started really bright, we were on the front foot, we had energy, but we conceded that goal and we have to be better.

“We needed to keep doing what we were doing because we were dominating the game at that point, we were very comfortable and creating some opportunities without them being clear cut.

“We went away from the game plan a little bit, but after we got in at half-time and regrouped, we were better and created some chances, but it wasn’t to be as they didn’t go in.

“It was a frustrating day, we have been on a good run, but we have to take the positives from this game and the run we have been on and take that into Tuesday night.

“We made mistakes in the build-up to the goal and we have to be better. In fairness to them, it was a great strike, but we became too anxious in our play.

“We regrouped, we created chances – great chances – but we just couldn’t get back in the game, but we will regroup and go again on Tuesday night.”