City boss happy at reaction to going a behind
It needed a late Sam Parkin header to rescue a point for the Grecians to peg back Josh Scott’s first-half opener for Dagenham and earn City a point at Victoria Road – but manager Paul Tisdale was pleased with his side’s reaction in what looked like ominous circumstances.
The Daggers were a goal to the good at the interval and in truth probably felt aggrieved to not have taken any of their other chances to put daylight between the teams. Like in the previous league fixture against York, the Grecians battled back from a trailing position to earn a result and that was satisfying for the City boss.
“I’m pleased by the response at half-time to an under-par first half,” said Tis. “We were a goal down and we responded and improved our performance and we got the goal from it.
“I look at the way we responded and the way the players executed what I asked them to do, and they did it – so that pleases me.
“It was a thorough, solid performance today. We should have done better at Mansfield but didn’t because of a lack of passing ability on the day, and at Morecambe we responded poorly to going a goal down.
“Today we responded to going a goal down and improved our performance. I’ve seen a definite improvement in the team’s resolve.”
Goalkeeper Artur Krysiak had a fine game with the exception of one costly blip, when he wasn’t able to deal with a ball pumped forward for Scott to chase and the Dagenham striker ultimately profited. Paul was frank with his assessment of the opener but stressed that he was pleased with the much-improved performance after the break which resulted in Parkin’s goal.
“Up until the first goal, the game was fairly even,” the City boss continued. “We tried to pass it too much on a very slow pitch – we couldn’t move the ball about.
“It was a giveaway goal. We can credit their player for his movement and tenacity, but it was a shocking decision to come out for the ball by Artur, but goalkeepers will make mistakes and that was one today.
“After their goal, they had a chance to beat us. We didn’t respond that quickly to the goal and they were on top.
“Sometimes simple is best and after half-time we were purposeful and direct with our play and put pressure on their back-four, and thoroughly deserved our goal. The game did ebb and flow and you have to be happy with a point when you’re a goal down at half-time.”
Paul also named a number of players for specific praise in earning the result. Half-time substitutes Jimmy Keohane and David Wheeler were both influential in pinning back the Dagenham team when they were introduced, while Scot Bennett had what might be considered one of his finest games in a City shirt at the heart of defence.
Tis continued: “Keohane and Wheeler were both players that I thought could add some more energy and running into the game. There’s no better than Jimmy to do that – he’s a dynamo.
“He added things, and David Wheeler added some straight-line purpose on that right-hand side and gave us some thrust. There wasn’t a great deal of sophistication behind it other than being a simple job well.
“Scot was outstanding. We spoke about his block and his defending and his one-on-one, which was technically brilliant and athletically wonderful. It was a top-class performance from him today.”