City striker glad to be back on the goal trail
Exeter City striker Tom Nichols was pleased to be back on the goal trail at St James Park, as his late effort earned the Grecians a 2-2 draw against Bury.
City had twice trailed in the game; former Exeter forward Daniel Nardiello put the visitors ahead but David Wheeler’s first goal in the Football League tied things up before the break, and then Nathan Cameron headed in a Chris Sedgwick corner for Bury.
So Nichols’ goal – coming around five minutes after he came off the bench – was enough to get the game back all square, as he netted only his second senior Exeter goal and his first since the eve of his 18th birthday, a winner against Chesterfield in 2011. It was Bury loanee Trevor Carson that pulled off a remarkable save to deny Nichols an equalising goal for City when they travelled to Portsmouth recently.
And the youngster was pleased to have contributed to City earning a point against a tough Bury team – albeit a little disappointed not to have beaten Brian Jensen again as he got his head to a swinging Matt Grimes cross in stoppage time.
“It’s a very good feeling,” said Nichols of his goal. “I’m pleased that we got a point out of the game, but I would have liked to have scored that chance at the end which would have made it even better. But I’m happy to have scored again – it’s been a while.
“I had a chance just before that and I don’t know how the goalie saved that – it was a great save. But I kept alive in the box and it got transferred in and out a few times, and I saw Sercs smash one in across goal and I thought ‘run to goal’ as I’ve been told to do. And thankfully it came off my shinpad and went in!”
Nichols seldom featured in the previous campaign, but his development over the past few months has been nothing if not remarkable. Not only has he been finding the back of the net with regularity for the reserve and under-21 sides, Nichols has also visibly improved on his all-round forward play and made life difficult for the Bury rearguard.
And his ambition for the season is simply to sustain that level of development and put himself into contention for starting berths.
“This year I’ve improved an awful lot,” he continued. “I’ve narrowed down my game and I’ve simplified my game, which is the main thing. I’ve done an awful lot of work with Rob Edwards who has helped me a lot about simplifying my game and doing what I’m good at, which is getting me in the team.
“I just want to keep getting better and better as a player. I want to keep staying in the team, hopefully nail down a starting place and get a new contract off the back of it.”
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