Thursday, April 17, 2014
After Saturdays home tie with Cheltenham Town a big talking point was, was this two points dropped or a point gained, writes Gareth Hughes.
There’s clearly no easy answer and it will only become clear as the remaining four games are played out as City fight to retain their League Two status!
A positive sign ahead of the remaining games was that this was the first time City have earned a point against the Robins at the tenth time of asking!
Saturdays 1-1 result left the Grecians in 20th place in the table and just two points above the relegation trap door which is being held up by Torquay and Northampton Town, who on Saturday both won their games, although the three teams above Exeter all lost their games.
Ahead of the game manager Paul Tisdale rang the changes with a surprise call up for 18-year-old Christy Pym in goal. The likeable Pat Baldwin returned as captain, in place of the previous game’s red carded Danny Coles, and another 18-year-old Matt Grimes replaced veteran midfielder Matt Gill. Danny Butterfield also returned from injury.
City started very brightly, showing signs and intent of being able to dominate the game which they did for the first 20 minutes. Butterfield, Richards and Sercombe all threatened and when Craig Woodman cross , albeit deflected found the ever improving centre back Jordon Moore-Taylor he turned the ball in to net his first goal for the club to take a 12th minute lead. The Robins slowly and surely began to get to work their way back in to the game and secured their goal and equaliser in the 26th minute. the second half played out with not many other clear chances bar Sercombe finding the side netting and Pym close to the final whistle taking a huge risk by rolling the ball out of defence only for it to be intercepted by a Cheltenham player from who fluffed the chance by firing straight at the grateful keeper from just 10 yards – lesson learnt!
Manager Paul Tisdale was balanced in his views. He said: “We started really well and I couldn’t have asked for much more of the players during that first quarter – they really took the game to Cheltenham and played with a lot of forward pressure. I’m disappointed that Cheltenham got the equaliser; they had very little to show for their first 20 minutes and they bundled one in with a scrappy goal. They missed some chances in the second half, and so did we. I’m pretty pleased with the way we played. It’s an anxious time, it’s nerve-wracking for us all, and there’s a lot at stake on every pass, tackle and decision you make. All things considered, I think the players applied themselves really well and I have little to complain about, other than some decisions they made and some mistakes they inevitably will make. On the whole I’m pretty happy with them.”
This Bank Holiday Friday, City have a very tricky away trip to automatic promotion placed Chesterfield and, on Monday, it’s a local derby when Torquay visit St James Park. Very much all to play for, and, at the present time, fate in our own hands.
If there is ever a time to come and support our local Grecians this is it. See you at the Park on Monday? Come on you Reds!