Match reaction: Exeter City 3 Colchester United 0

Tis: I am really proud of Ollie..he showed great maturity.

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale said he was ‘proud’ of Ollie Watkins performance as the 21-year-old provided all three assists as the Grecians beat Colchester United at home.

Watkins – who is on a rich goalscoring run himself – set up the opening goal as he superbly took down Troy Brown long ball up field before racing into the area and sliding a pass into teammate Reuben Reid.

In the second half, he then played in David Wheeler and Liam McAlinden, in injury-time, to complete was a great day for him and for City.  

“I am really proud of him because he has scored a lot of goals recently and everyone expects things of him,” said Tis. “He played with so much maturity to pass to someone in a better position and that says so much about him. Again, he has gone up in my estimations.”

Speaking about Watkins part in the first goal, Tis added: “Ollie had to bring down the ball (from Troy) and he was very athletic in doing so,” he said. “Then, you just have to play the next second and he was just playing what was around him and the opportunity opened for him to play to Rueben and it was a lovely finish.”

Colchester went into the match on decent form, having won seven of their last nine. However, City restricted John McGreal’s side to very few chances which was another pleasing aspect of the display. 

“They (Colchester) looked a good side second half and I think they will feel unfortunate to have lost the game 3-0,” said Tis. “We kept a really solid backline. There were times when we were deep, but I didn’t worry about it. 

“Being deep and solid and compact isn’t a sign weakness, sometimes that is what gives you your opportunities to break. They had a real go at us and they looked pretty useful and I think they’ll be a good side going through the rest of the season.

“There were some very good blocks and half blocks and pressure on their players to prevent a clear strike at goal, but my point is it is not about where on the pitch you decide to stand firm. We did it on the edge of our box throughout that second half and we did restrict them to very few chances. We had to work hard for it though.”

City have had to work hard for their current position in the table as well. The Grecians sit in ninth, a point outside the play-off places, but Tis doesn’t want his players to get too pleased with themselves just yet. 

“We have to attack every game,” he said. “We cannot think we are there now. We have worked so hard to get to this point. Now we have got a new challenge. The challenge is to maintain this form and build it over the next three or four months. We are certainly not thinking great we have cracked it. We have got a lot to do yet.”