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Davies: “We lacked in final third”

21 December 2013

Midfielder disappointed in bluntness of attack

Grecians midfielder Arron Davies felt that City’s lack of incision in and around the Chesterfield box was a contributing factor to a 2-0 defeat to the Spireites at St James Park.

The conditions were tough – in particular on Exeter with the bracing wind blowing and driving rain towards City’s goal in the first half – but the hosts got into the break looking comfortable enough.

However City weren’t really able to translate solid play into gilt-edged chances, which allowed Chesterfield to pick the Grecians off in the second period, starting with a headed goal by Ollie Banks just two minutes after the restart.

“I thought in the first half we were really competitive and showed a lot of spirit and determination – we did the ugly side of the game, which you have to when conditions are so tough,” Davies said.  “But we lacked a bit of quality in the final third – if we had gotten that first goal, it would have been massive.

“It was a killer blow to concede so early in the second half, and then it was a difficult game to get back into.

“We were probably the better team going forward in the first half, but we didn’t work their ‘keeper enough.  I thought we did have them on the back foot, but their goalkeeper has probably gone away thinking that he’s had a fairly easy night.”

The nature of Banks’ opener was particularly frustrating – Callum McFadzean whipped over an inswinging corner for his midfield teammate to head in and to open the scoring.  It was no less frustrating for the players, who have prided themselves in strength in defending dead ball situations during the last couple of seasons.

The second, as Marc Richards slotted in from close-range midway through the second half, came no more than a minute after the bold decision to go three at the back in order to free up Scot Bennett for use as an additional attacker.

“It’s been a strength of ours in the last 18 months since we’ve gone to zonal defending, so that’s disappointing to have conceded a few like that at home in the last couple of games,” Davies continued.  “Especially when the game is on a knife-edge – those are vital moments in games.

“The second was a sucker-punch too – the game gets a bit spread and if you go for it a bit more you expose yourself at the back. “

As ever after a defeat, the boys are already looking on to the next challenge and another opportunity to get three points and to clamber back up the table – that comes as City take on Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road on Boxing Day.

“We’ve got four games in ten days – that’s the good side to Christmas, because if you get a bad result then you’ve got a quick turnaround of games to go and get a victory,” he continued.

“We’ll go to Cheltenham, which is a bit of a derby, and we’ll take a lot of fans.  And we’ll look forward to that game now and a busy Christmas schedule, and if we’re able to pick up a lot of points then we can put ourselves back in the frame.”

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