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Accrington Stanley 1 Exeter City 2: Match reaction

21 August 2016

Manager Paul Tisdale relieved and proud as players get season up and running

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale admitted to a feeling of relief, delight and pride after watching his side collect their first points of the season away at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

The Grecians went into the game counting themselves unfortunate not to have picked up any points in their opening three league fixtures of the season, despite creating the better chances in most of those matches.

However, it was a resolute defensive performance that set the platform for a victory of Stanley at the Wham Stadium as they kept the home side at bay for an hour before taking the lead through Ryan Harley.

“I feel relief, delight and pride in the players’ performance,” said Tis. “It was good to just get up and running. I don’t think we have merited the points tally we had before today; we have deserved at least a point or two, but it is what it is and you go into the game three games into the season and on zero points and you need to get up and running and get some points on the board.

“It doesn’t matter how you do it. It just so happened that we were playing against a very good team and my players had to defend and battle and fight and grit it out, with one or two bits of very good football, to get the result. So, I am of course delighted, but I am also relieved to.”

Harley’s strike was a goal worthy of winning any game as his shot flew past Aaron Chapman from 30 yards out. However, Tis also praised the part Ollie Watkins played in the move as the youngster picked up his third assist of the season.

“It was nicely laid back to him and half the ingredient for a strike like that is the lay-off,” he said. “It was Ollie Watkins who laid the ball across for him and it was as sweet as you could imagine. It was a lovely strike.”

Tis also praised left-back Craig Woodman for his performance as he came up against plenty of attacks as Stanley attacked down the right and put in an impressive display.

“Craig Woodman had a really, really big challenge and did extremely well,” said Tisdale. “We played a system with the opponent in mind.

“I have made no secret of the fact that I think Accrington were probably one of the best footballing sides in the league last season. They had a real fluidity about them. Whenever you come here there is always some energy and fizz about them.

“Whether they are winning or losing they have got some energy in their play and they take a chance with the ball and they are very good with it. So we knew we had to be defensively tight.

“Craig Woodman and Connor Riley-Lowe on that left-hand side did a really sterling job defensively, because we had a lot to contend with.”

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