Goalscorer looks back at draw with SouthendGrecians striker Graham Cummins felt that Exeter City would look back on a draw away at Southend United as a good point, despite having chances to win the fixture.
The hosts controlled much of the first period and took a 1-0 lead into the break through David Worrall, but Cummins struck with less than 15 minutes remaining to earn a point.
With the pendulum swinging in the Grecians’ favour in the second half, it could have been all three points for City – but ultimately the game ended with the spoils shared. The introduction of David Wheeler at the break created an extra dimension which caused the Shrimpers all kinds of problems.
Southend won nearly half of their games at Roots Hall last season, giving them amongst the best home records in League 2 – so Graham felt that it was a decent result, despite chances to go one better.
“I think in the second half we were the better side, but in the first Southend were definitely the better,” he said.
“We changed our shape for the second half and from the moment we kicked off after the break, Dave [Wheeler] chased the ball down in the corner and we won a throw-in and we thought ‘we’re up for this’.
“Dave’s pace worries defenders and they are going to be more focused on him than they are on me, so it takes the pressure off me. He made a big difference when he came on – he’s just that outlet because he wins stuff in the air as well for us.
“Looking back, coming here we would have probably taken a draw because Southend are flying in the league. They’ve had a bad run recently but I’d expect them to be up there at the end of the season so when we look back at this, it’ll be a good point.
“We’re disappointed in the first half because we didn’t play to our standards. I thought we would get the winner when scored, but you can’t complain to come away from here with a point.”
Cummins’ goal was his fourth of the campaign – already equalling the total he registered for Rochdale last season during his loan spell at Spotland.
Liam Sercombe sent a direct ball forward which wasn’t dealt with by the Shrimpers’ defence, allowing the Irish striker to collect, shrug off his man, and lift over goalkeeper Daniel Bentley into the net.
The City man had had chances to net earlier in the game, but had seen opportunities miss the target and one saved low at his feet by the impressive home stopper.
So Graham was pleased that chances were coming his way this week, and ultimately a little disappointed that his goal didn’t spark a complete overturn in the result.
“We didn’t play well in the first half, but I said to myself that I’ve still had two good chances,” reflected Graham.
“And I thought it was a penalty when one of their players blocked me to get the ball, and then they went down the other end and scored – I thought the ref was blowing for a penalty.
“At least I got chances this week – last weekend I didn’t even get a shot off which made me feel like I had to have a go this week. I was happy to get chances, and luckily I got one in the second half and it went in.
“When the ball came to me [from Sercombe], I took my time because I thought I was going to get fouled because the defender was the last man.
“A few of the lads came up to me after and said, ‘you took so much time over that’ – but the end result was right. All that was going through my head was ‘take my time’, and then I thought I’d better hit it because I was running out of time!
“I had the defender on the wrong side and I was just trying to hold him off, and because it was on my left it was going to be a swinger! It bounced just before I hit it which let me get the height on it.
“I thought we were going to go on and win from there – the defender made a great block from Dave and a Jimmy [Keohane] hit the post. On another day those go in.”