Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale admitted he was proud of his players after they put in an excellent performance at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Stanley, who are top of League Two, went into the match knowing that a victory would confirm their place in League One for next season. And, on the back of 15 wins from their last 17 matches, they were favourites to do just that.
However, City – aiming for an automatic promotion spot themselves – were not overawed and took the game to Stanley. The Grecians went ahead through Jayden Stockley’s first-half strike and, although they were eventually pegged back just before half-time, they arguably came closest to winning the match in the second half through efforts from Stockley and Hiram Boateng.
“We played really well,” said Tis. “It was a heck of a game. It was end to end and that second half it could have gone either way. Both teams were trying to win it and I am really proud of the players.
“We decided it wasn’t a good idea to sit back and let them dictate so we created as many chances, if not more than they did in the first half. Albeit there two strikers got them out of deficit with a typical goal for Accrington, but I think to be challenging at this point in the season with a depleted team I was really proud of that.
“We have got the likes of the young boys Kane Wilson, Jordan Storey, Kyle Edwards and Matt Jay playing in that game today and pushing an Accrington team all the way. I was pleased with the way we performed.”
City were without Jordan Moore-Taylor, Troy Brown, Craig Woodman, Ryan Harley and Lee Holmes for the match at the Wham Stadium and Tis says the performance they managed to put in, in spite of those absentees, is proof of the strength of the squad.
“That is the benefit of having a proper reserve team,” said Tis. “We have been able to invest in that size of squad because of the sales we have made. In other years it won’t be possible, but this year we have got a really good squad.
“Matt Taylor has really treated that reserve team properly which means when you get to this stage of the season and you need them they are there to play.
“They have done really well, but I have to say the team has been led today again by the stalwarts of our campaign; Christy Pym, Pierce Sweeney, Dean Moxey, Jake Taylor, Jordan Tillson, Jayden Stockley, Hiram Boateng.
“They have all been through the season with us and they were there again today and they led the team. I am really proud of them and I am positive about the next four games.”
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