Paul gives analysis of home victory over Fleetwood
Following Exeter City’s 3-0 win against Fleetwood Town at St James Park, Grecians manager Paul Tisdale was understandably delighted with the performance and result that left the home faithful with that fuzzy feeling they have waited so long for.
The victory saw City jump five places in the Sky Bet League 2 table and climb to 17th, ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Home Park to face Plymouth Argyle in the Devon Derby.
Exeter had the lead at the break as Jon Parkin turned into his own net from a well-flighted free-kick from Danny Butterfield, before Eliot Richards showed tremendous goalscoring instinct after the break to net twice in front of the Big Bank and seal an emphatic victory.
As far as the City boss was concerned, the result was always going to be the important factor – but the manner in which that result was acquired made the win even sweeter.
“The performance was going to be secondary to the result, but when you play that well, it really does warm your heart and gives you plenty of encouragement going forward,” said Tis. “It was a very comprehensive performance – it wasn’t over-complicated, and we played with real tempo and were connected.
“The players were totally committed, and they were tough against a very athletic and strong side. They played with some freedom and care with their passing, and when you consider the position we’re in and the anxiety that has covered us recently, I’m so proud of them.
“It’s only one win – we have to keep our nerve whether we win or lose. It’s something we’ve said to ourselves, that if we lose we don’t get upset and if we win we don’t get too excited. But it’s an important three points and it really was encouraging.
“I didn’t think we were fortuitous in any way – things went our way in terms of the odd bouncing ball here or there, but it’s amazing how that happens when a team is fully committed and playing with that kind of gusto, and we did today.”
Performances were outstanding at either end of the field, and Paul was generous with his praise for a performance that saw every player contribute superbly to the victory.
Some of the more senior players in the squad were particularly commendable for their input, and after scoring three goals, the defence performed some late heroics to hold onto a clean-sheet – City’s first shut-out since hosting Oxford almost two months ago.
“Well done to Eliot Richards on his two goals, and there were some big performances today,” continued Paul. “Especially the senior players, which have been given the responsibility in a tough situation, and they really raised their games. Danny Butterfield, Craig Woodman, Matt Oakley and Matt Gill were outstanding today – so well done them.
“We’ve not had too many clean sheets, and Artur Krysiak had to make one or two good saves. We were always on the up today and we didn’t feel particularly in danger, but it was a good clean sheet and ably supported by the back-four. Jordan Moore-Taylor, Danny Coles and the two full-backs were all tough one-on-one and didn’t let Fleetwood have too much space.”
In particular, Paul was pleased for the St James Park faithful who were able to cheer a home win for the first time since beating Plymouth in October.
“A very large element of the support here have kept with the side and have shown their appreciation of the commitment that the players have made, so well done them,” said Tis.
“We’re all in it together – we’re a community club, and if there’s any club where the supporters are part of it, it’s here. They stuck with the side, so I’m very pleased for them. They must have enjoyed it.”