Hamon: “We defended really well throughout”

Stopper gives reaction after goalless draw at York

Following a 0-0 draw at York City, Exeter City goalkeeper James Hamon declared himself happy to keep a clean sheet on his return to first-team action, and praised his teammates for making that possible.

In reality much of Hamon’s work was concentrated on commanding his area – the Minstermen were rarely able to break through the Grecians’ defensive ranks.

The only two times that they managed a shot on target – in the first half through Wes Fletcher from a tight angle, and after half-time after Russell Penn made space for himself – Hamon was there to foil the efforts.

And while he was disappointed that a clean sheet wasn’t good enough for all three points, he was still pleased with the showing and the sturdiness that the team showed.

“It’s a great way to come back in,” said Hamon after his return to the team.  “We did our jobs as a defensive unit to keep the ball out of the net but it’s just a shame that we couldn’t score today as we have done on many other occasions.

“I think coming all the way up here and keeping a clean sheet is a really good start and always a bonus.

“The boys in front of me did really well today.  I think they only had two shots on target across the game and we defended really well throughout the pitch.

“That started from the front – the forwards pressed well and that passed through the midfield, and the back four did really well to keep the ball away from me.

“We knew they would put a lot of balls into the box and we knew we had to stand up high and look after that, and we defended it well.  Thankfully most of the balls were quite high which meant I could come through the crowd and take them.

“There was a moment in the first half where we had three consecutive chances – the first one was saved and then it was off the line twice.  On another day that goes in, we win one-nil, and we go back down to Exeter chuffed.

“But it’s a long way to come so we’ll take the point and the clean sheet, and we’ll come back up next week [against Carlisle] and put the same shift in and hopefully get the three points.

“All over the pitch we put a good performance in.  The boys ran their socks off and deserved the clean sheet, but it’s unfortunate we couldn’t put the ball in the net.”

He was also full of praise for his teammates in the defensive positions for their role in the shut-out.

Centre-half Jordan Moore-Taylor won his share of aerial duals, Jamie McAllister shone in the left-sided full-back role, and captain for the afternoon Danny Butterfield – who screened the defensive line – also played a key role in dictating play.

He continued: “Jordan has been great for the last few games.  He throws himself in front of shots from 20 or 25 yards out – it’s always him that gets in the way.

“Macca has done really well – he has come in recently and he did really well replacing Woody today.

“That’s what we need – solid players like that in our team.  If we have that throughout our squad, we won’t go too far wrong.

“And Butts is a great character, but not only that – he’s a great football player as well.  He’s the one that we can trust on the ball.

“He’s so comfortable on the ball that it’s almost scary at times.  He was a great captain today – he’s a born leader.

“He did really well sitting in front of the back four and protected us, and made our job a lot easier.”