Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale praised the work of his coaching staff and players as the Grecians came from 1-0 down on Tuesday night to beat Forest Green Rovers and book their place in the next round of the FA Cup.
City’s hopes of meeting Premier League West Brom in the third round stage looked to have been fading when midfielder Jordan Tillson was sent-off for a second bookable offence with his side already a goal behind.
However, the Grecians fought their way back into the match, aided by substitutes Kyle Edwards, Hiram Boateng and Ryan Harley all having a positive impact when they came on to the pitch. Tis admitted everybody must take credit for that.
“Ryan Harley and Hiram Boateng both had knocks from the weekend and the prospect of 120 minutes was too much,” he said. “So they both started on the bench, and of course Kyle Edwards came on and did his thing as well. All three players made a big, big difference to our performance in the second half and going into extra-time. Lloyd James moving to right-back did really well as well, so they all played their part.
“The details were good,” he added. “The advice I took from my colleagues on the bench was good, as well, there was lots of information coming into me and I’d say Matt Oakley, Matt Taylor and Andy Tillson all played their part in the substitutions, so well done them.”
Tis also added that the ability not to panic and to stick to their gameplan served the players well in what was a nervy atmosphere inside the stadium.
“We didn’t panic,” he said. “I know it was a very quiet St James Park in the first half but there was no panic on the bench and no panic on the pitch.
“The opposition are entitled to play their game and they played it – they didn’t create many chances with it but they got a penalty and they were ahead.
“I have to say, the players kept their nerve really well, no one but the players got themselves back in that game, they kept their nerve and turned and turned and turned it up.
“Even with 11 men against us, I think we were back in that game in the second half. We looked likely to score, we got the goal, and going into extra-time I still thought we’d score, even against 11.
“The players dug deep and it was a really rewarding win because it was a tough evening and they really maximised their performance and I’m really proud of them.”