Nichols: “A great performance and nice to get a goal”

Goalscorer Tom reflects on win at Morecambe

Tom Nichols’ second goal of the season helped the Grecians to wrap up three points with a 2-0 win away at Morecambe.

His goal came in the 89th minute, adding to the lead that Exeter had taken in the ninth minute when Shaun Beeley mistakenly diverted a Christian Ribeiro delivery into his own net and securing a sixth win for City in eight League 2 games.  Christy Pym wasn’t often called into action between the sticks for the Grecians, but with such a slender lead it certainly helped to kill the game off, albeit in the final two minutes.

It was a ball from fellow substitute David Noble that sent Nichols away – the forward arced his run perfectly with left-back Laurence Wilson dropping deep, and drove goalwards.  With Jimmy Keohane making a run to the far post and giving the defence reasons to worry, Tom sold the goalkeeper and slammed in from close range with a decisive finish.

Nichols – who was denied a route to goal by a linesman’s flag in midweek as he looked to extend the lead late on against Wycombe Wanderers – was glad to see play allowed to continue so that he could help to wrap up what had been a masterclass performance from the travelling Grecians.

“If you saw the way I was given offside in the last game, I thought ‘there’s no chance he’s going to keep his flag down here!’” said Tom.

“Thankfully he did – the defender was pushing up, but the full-back was dropping deeper and thankfully he played me on.

“I was going to square it to Jimmy but they blocked that off, so I shot and thankfully it went in.  I looked up for Jimmy two or three times but the angle just wasn’t there – but I scored so he can’t complain!

“We played really well as a team and could have easily won by more goals.  It was our first clean sheet of the season, a great performance and nice to get a goal.

“We could have been more goals up at half-time but thankfully they didn’t make us pay for that.  One-nil is a very dangerous scoreline as you’re one 30-yarder away from being level, so it’s always preferable to get a cushion.

“So when you don’t get that, you’ve got to defend right and Christy has been in great form recently.  He made another save last week as well – he’s making top-drawer saves.”

It marked the 11th consecutive game in which Exeter have found the net and the first clean-sheet of the current campaign.

Nichols felt that the confidence in their play was on show and that the team are looking a lot more potent than last season, now that they are a year older and wiser.

“We just know we’re going to score every game – last year we didn’t know how we were going to score,” he explained.

“Now we’re creating chance after chance and play teams off the park, and we can mix it up this year – I think that’s the main difference.

“I think we’ve got the right blend of delivering forward and playing at the same time.  Our experienced lads are very good at the back in finding teammates and find space.”