City boss happy with turnaround at Sixfields
Grecians manager Paul Tisdale gave abundant praise to his team after they came from a goal down to beat Northampton Town 2-1 at Sixfields.
The game ended in something of a frantic fashion, with both teams going for broke and trying to earn the three points at the death. While Paul was obviously delighted that it was City that registered the win, he admitted that the Cobblers could feel hard done-by to have suffered defeat.
“You don’t very often get a game like that where both teams want to win it in the last five minutes,” said Tis. “It would have been very easy to slow it down but we kept going.
“It’s one thing keeping going, but we kept going with intensity and sharpness with our counter-attacks and breaks. I’m very proud of them.
“We deserved the opportunity for that to happen. Northampton also put enough into their game to have the opportunity to win it – we both deserved the opportunity, and it went our day today.”
“It’s early days and I’m not getting carried away with it, but I have to say that Northampton are the best side we’ve played this season so far.
“It’s a cruel world and I don’t think they deserved that today off the back of how they played – they didn’t deserve to lose.”
The Grecians had to earn the win the hard way, as Leicester loanee Jacob Blyth profited with a direct punt upfield and slotted in. Tis stressed the importance of keeping the match within reach rather than over-stretching for an early equaliser as being an important factor in the final result.
“I don’t think we had any reticence at all in the way we prepared ourselves in the dressing room,” Paul continued. “We knew what it would be like, but we just didn’t cope with it. I don’t think I could label our team hesitant or slow to start – Northampton were phenomenal. Their start was so dynamic and it blew the game their way.
“It’s impossible to play like that for 95 minutes so it was a case of us weathering the storm, and like last week it was down to us preventing the second goal. We did it in the first half fortuitously off the crossbar, and Artur Krysiak made a couple of really good saves, and we defended the box well.
“Today was about us keeping it at one goal and not letting it become two – like when we were here last year [when Northampton won 3-0) it is easy to let one to become two, to become three – we stuck with it and we gave ourselves a chance for late in the game. I’m beginning to see a team with more resolve.”
Tis was in particular happy with the quality of play for the two City goals. The first, an equaliser by Scot Bennett, came from a delightful Craig Woodman corner and the second came on a counter in stoppage time, as David Wheeler put in a perfect cross for fellow substitute John O’Flynn to glance home a winner.
He said: “I don’t think it can be argued that it was a terrific delivery with a very purposeful run into the box. Sometimes a perfect run and a perfect run will beat any team, and that was nigh on a perfect cross from Craig Woodman.
“The one thing we didn’t quite do enough was play the ball behind their back-four; eventually we did it twice in the last five minutes and got our rewards from it.
“John’s goal was a sublime finish, and it was made by the passes of Arron Davies and David Wheeler.”
The result represents another points-haul from a losing position – it was the second time already this season that the Grecians have won after going a goal down, as well as earning a draw from behind against Dagenham last week and a win after being pegged back on the opening day against Bristol Rovers.
“We’ve probably won more games this season from being behind than we did for the whole of last year. We had a competitive edge to us today and I think we have done this season so far.”