Exeter City manager Matt Taylor praised the character of his team as they came from a goal down to draw with promotion rivals Colchester United.
Colchester took the lead when Sammie Szmodics volleyed home from outside the area with 67 minutes on the clock, but the Grecians responded quickly and levelled inside three minutes as Jayden Stockley bundled the ball home from close-range for his 11th goal of the season.
“It was a hard-earned point definitely,” said Matt. “Credit to the boys we went behind to what was a very good strike. It was probably going to take something special to break the deadlock, but to get back into the game straight away was outstanding from the character of the group.
“Then it could have gone either way towards the end, without any real clearcut opportunities. There were balls bouncing around both teams’ boxes but we go home satisfied today."
It was perhaps quite surprising that the game was goalless at the half-time break as Christy Pym produced three good saves to deny Ollie Kensdale, Szmodics and Courtney Senior while Dillon Barnes made two equally good stops to keep out Tristan Abrahams.
“It is the way football is away from home, you expect your keeper to make saves, you expect your defenders to make blocks and their keeper has done the same as well,” said Matt.
“It was certainly an evenly balanced game between two good teams. However, Colchester at home are certainly a threat against any opposition. I think, on the whole, we dealt with it pretty well today. I am pleased with a point but I still want more from the lads in terms of their performance. There is more to come from this group.”
Matt Taylor added that while he was pleased with the reaction from his players to conceding the opening goal, he expected nothing less from them.
A total of 264 Grecians made the trip to Colchester to cheer on their side and he says the players are honest in their approach to the club and supporters to reward them with a committed display.
“I am pleased with the reaction, but I would be worried if they did drop their heads,” said Matt. “It is professional football and they are an honest group. We are an honest bunch of staff and the club has always worked hard for the fans and for the club in general, so when you go behind that motivates you even more.
“We didn’t feel we deserved to be behind – it was just a little bit of quality from the opposition – and you are desperate to get back in the game. It is always good from a manager’s point of view when you get back in the game straight away and then it was evenly balanced towards the end and it could have gone either way.”
“It is a long way back for them (the fans), but they have seen a committed display. Hopefully they can come again on Tuesday night (at home to Macclesfield) as they do all the time and support us.”