Manager gives post-match reaction following win in MansfieldExeter City manager Paul Tisdale was understandably delighted for his team as they came out 3-2 winners from a trip to Mansfield Town.
After taking the lead into half-time, City were trailing midway through the second period as goals by Billy Kee and Vadaine Oliver had the Stags back in front.
However two goals in the final quarter of an hour for Exeter swung the game back in their favour, as three points were gained in the most dramatic of circumstances to take the Grecians to the 40-point mark and within a single point of a play-off place.
City had had to battle hard and defend deep at times throughout the fixture, with the Stags particularly threatening with their deliveries into the box and aerial presence. Matt Oakley and Arron Davies in particular racked up a number of clearances off the goal-line, and stopper James Hamon had to make a number of smart stops.
And when the Stags went ahead and had the ascendency, it needed a lot of composure from the Grecians to stifle their threat and work their way back into the game.
Tis was hopeful that winning with such character would represent another big moment in their season, having lost the previous three games before the trip to Field Mill.
“It wasn’t a normal type of performance for us – we really had to play in a robust fashion and I’m delighted for the players,” Paul said.
“More importantly, we needed it. It’s very good for our season and just what we needed today.
“If a team is going to cross the ball and put it in the box, there are two ways to deal with it. You either stop it coming in or you head it and clear it in the box. Mansfield did it very well and it got to the point that it was very difficult to stop it coming in.
“They were pretty purposeful with their play, they pushed on and had good opportunities to cross it and gave our goal a real challenging afternoon.
“James Hamon did extremely well for a young goalkeeper in the circumstances, and so did our defenders. We’re not the biggest or most physical defence but we coped with it pretty well.
“Today won’t have done us any harm at all in the performance and the way we had to play. We didn’t have it our own way and didn’t have the opportunity to dominate the possession. Our midfield had to play in a dynamic and tenacious way.
“It was another juncture in our season. We’ve had a few big moments – away at Cambridge was a big moment for us – only time will tell, but today is possibly another opportunity for us to get the wheels turning again off the back of a disappointing last two or three weeks.”
It was a tenth goal of the season for Tom Nichols that got the Grecians going on stroke of half an hour, deftly glacing in a right-flank cross by Arron Davies.
And after Kee and Oliver had turned it around, it was a fine finish from Scot Bennett – sweeping home after being left free from a corner – and a penalty from sub Alex Nicholls that won it for Exeter.
The penalty came as Nicholls pressured the Stags defence into a loose back-pass, allowed David Wheeler to draw a foul from goalkeeper Adam Smith.
Paul had praise for the way the Grecians worked their openings in different manners, as well as converting their chances at vital times.
“Arron Davies worked the cross really well and didn’t panic – he did a really good job in getting that cross in and it was a lovely header from Tom,” he continued.
“All the goals had merit. I really liked the last goal – Alex Nicholls chased in behind and David Wheeler read it and followed it up.
“It is often the next person on the scene which makes the difference, but it has to come from the first person that sets it off and Alex chased it and David chased and pressurised their ‘keeper into a mistake – and well done to Alex for sticking it away.”