Tis: “We looked a real threat”

Manager gives post-match reaction from Southend fixture

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale felt that a sharing the points with a 1-1 draw at Southend United represented a fair result on the balance of play.

It was David Worrall’s first-half header that put the Shrimpers into the lead in the first period, but Exeter – looking more dangerous in the second period – got on terms through Graham Cummins who netted a well-taken equaliser in the 77th minute.

Exeter finished the game on top and looked the likelier to get all three points – and midfielder Jimmy Keohane even rattled the base of the post with a guided shot soon after.

And while Tis felt that a point apiece was a fair reflection on the game as a whole, he was ultimately disappointed that they didn’t turn their second-half pressure into a winning goal.

“It was a fair result,” said Paul.  “Let’s be honest – they were the better team in the first half and deserved their lead; we were the better team in the second half and deserved our goal.

“I feel robbed because we were the stronger side at the end of the game, so that’s how it feels.  But if you look at it objectively they were the stronger in the first half and were a lot better than us, even if they didn’t create many clear chances.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t take all three points because we finished as strongly as we have done in lots of games.  We looked a real threat in that last half-hour of the game.”

Tis shifted things around at the break – David Wheeler replaced Arron Davies, which meant a reshuffle for many other players.  Scot Bennett dropped into centre-half from centre-forward, and Matt Oakley joined the midfielder after beginning as a sweeper.

He was pleased that a few minor adjustments allowed City a route back into the game.

“Positionally we weren’t quite right in the first half and tactically they were on top of us,” he continued. 

“We were also playing into a breeze and when you add those things together we were always too far away from the ball.

“By the time we got to the ball we were pushed off it because they were stronger and quicker to it.  That’s what happens sometimes when there’s a little bit of disconnect.

“In the second half we tweaked and adjusted and we looked the stronger and quicker side.  It’s not through which team tries hardest or is fitter.  A lot of the time it is down to those distances and in the second half we got those distances absolutely spot on.”

Cummins’ equaliser – his fourth goal of the season – was taken well as a cross in from the right allowed the striker to get on the wrong side of his man and place in left-footed.

The Grecians boss was always anticipating a grandstand end to the game and was ultimately frustrated that it wasn’t converted into all three points.

He continued: “It was a really good finish from Graham – it’s just a shame that Jimmy Keohane’s shot didn’t go in and hit the post, and David Wheeler had a couple of times when he was just an inch away from getting in on goal.

“It’s a really tight league and in pretty much every game there’s one goal in it.  Other than the Plymouth game, we haven’t been beaten by more than one goal and every game is going to go down to the last ten minutes.

“If you’re the team that has the ascendency in the last ten minutes, you feel like you’re going to get it.”