Youngster gives post-match reaction following Southend defeatExeter City forward Matt Jay admitted that it was galling to lose in the final minute to Southend United, who claimed a 1-0 victory at St James Park.
The Shrimpers had been put under pressure by Exeter throughout the game, but ultimately Michael Timlin stole in during stoppage-time to nick what proved to be the match-winning goal.
Jimmy Keohane shot a whisker wide of the post either side of the interval, while sub Tom Nichols forced a good save from stopper Daniel Bentley with a powerful drive shortly after his introduction – ultimately they couldn’t ever force the net to bulge against a stern rearguard.
And Jay admitted that it was those fine margins which ultimately cost Exeter a result.
“It’s very disappointing to concede so late on,” he said. “It’s a real kick in the teeth to not only lose, but to concede at the time we did. That’s one of those things that can happen.
“We had some good chances in the first half, as well as the second half, where we didn’t quite get it right. We missed the target too many times and maybe that cost us.
“If we’d got a bit closer, you never know what can happen. If you get one on target, you can get a rebound and you can get a goal like that.
“It is the little things that make the difference. We did have chances to put the ball in the back of the net.
“You can see why they have kept so many clean sheets – they all know their jobs and they all cover the space as well. They were tough to break down.”
Mathematically, a play-off finish is still feasible. Realistically, though, the chances are looking slim and it would need two victories as well as a number of other teams to squander results over the final fortnight to have a chance of extending the season beyond May 2nd.
However Jay and the team are keen to aim for a perfect return from the final two games and to see where that result ultimately leaves the Grecians in the standings.
“Everyone wants to finish the season strongly,” continued Jay. “That’s what we’ll be looking to do – get the two wins.
“It’s going to be difficult, but while there is hope you’ve got to go for it. We’ll have to see what happens in the next two.”
Matt was introduced for the final ten minutes against the Shrimpers, making just his third appearance of the season in Exeter colours.
With Lee Holmes and Alex Nicholls unavailable through injury, first-year pro Jay impressed in his short time on the field and remained hopeful of getting a few more minutes during in the final two games.
He continued: “I’ve got to take one step at a time – I thought I did okay today. I thought I held the ball up well and I had one chance that got blocked.
“I’ll keep doing what I do in training, and I’ll see what happens in the next couple.”