Manager delighted as players show resolve after Morecambe equaliser
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale praised his players for holding their nerve in the 3-1 win over Morecambe at St James Park.
The Grecians took the led two minutes into the second half when David Wheeler scrambled home a corner from close range.
However, a super strike from Kevin Ellison then levelled the scores and, with the push for the play-off places so tight, the nerves and anxiety around the ground came back.
The players did not let the nervousness of the crowd affect their gameplan though, something which Tis was very pleased about.
“There was a lot of anxiety around the ground today,” said Tis. “However, all the nerve and all the sense and all the know-how was on the pitch, thankfully.
“The players kept their nerve. Morecambe scored a brilliant equaliser.
“Let us not forget we were totally in control of that situation and they then score a wonderful volley and it is 1-1 and all the pressure comes again. All the anxiety comes back. You could feel it around you, but the players held their nerve.
“We didn’t expose ourselves early. We didn’t chase the game. We still brought everyone back for defending corners, because to win a game you have got to make sure you keep it out at the other end. We did that, again and again and again.
“And then we have got something in us. The last five minutes, we have just got something in us and we showed, again today, that we have got that ability to raise our game in the last five or 10 minutes and that got us the points.”
City did raise their games in the final 10 minutes and substitute Reuben Reid played a huge part in that. He played a neat one-two with David Wheeler on the edge of the area, in the first minute of stoppage time, to draw a foul from Michael Rose and win a penalty that he converted. And then Liam McAlinden wrapped up a great performance by scoring a third with virtually the last kick of the game.
The win moved City up to fifth in the table – three points inside the play-off places with six left to play for. However, Tis warned his players not to feel too comfortable about their league position with a trip to league leaders Doncaster to face next weekend.
“It was a nice day, but we have still got six more points at stake for everybody,” said Tis. “You have just got to move straight on to the next. We cannot fall into the trap of any sense of comfort. We got a much needed three points today and we have got six more at stake. We can enjoy it, but let’s not get too pleased.”
Asked if Doncaster might feel some pressure next week going into a match they need to win themselves to help them secure the title, Tis added: “I don’t know. We just have to go with the same plan. You can second guess certain things, but you can’t second guess how people are going to feel in their own stadium.
“We have been successful on the road this season though. We have won 12 games and I don’t think we should underestimate ourselves whoever we are playing against.”