Exeter City manager Matt Taylor praised his side’s display as they battled to a 1-0 win over Stevenage at St James Park.
Dean Moxey’s goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to give the Grecians the points as they defended well to keep out their opponents.
Following the win, Matt said: “It’s a good win, in the first half we were absolutely excellent. Full credit to Stevenage, they stayed in the game and held us out until the last minute of the first half. We got the goal that we deserved.”
The Grecians were forced to defend strongly for large parts of the second half as the away side looked for a way back into the match, but credit to the likes of Aaron Martin and Luke Croll, who stood up against the physical presence of the Stevenage attack.
“They put us under pressure in the second half without really creating too much,” said Matt.
“We could have killed the game off. Clean sheets have been coming, in terms of we deserved more than we have got recently. I’m delighted with the clean sheet, Christy Pym, the back four and the whole team deserved it. I thought we warranted the three points tonight.
“Two halves of football are never the same, as we saw in the Cheltenham game. As good as we were in the first half, they threw bodies at us in the second and put us under a bit of pressure and pinned us back in at times, but we saw the game out much better than we did at the weekend.
“We still had enough quality to create chances in the second half, and on another day the first half performance would have blown a few more teams away. Full credit to Stevenage, I thought that was two good teams going at it tonight, and we’re delighted with the three points. As I said last Saturday when we were devastated to concede so late on, it’s very much onto the next and that’s a big game at Yeovil this Saturday.”
The goal came about from a bit of a scramble in the Stevenage box as the away side struggled to clear under pressure from the City attack, which led to Moxey popping up at the far post to fire the ball home.
On the goal, and a bit of good fortune, Matt said: “I said to them at half-time that I didn’t think our initial reactions were quite sharp enough throughout the first half.
“We played some fantastic football and we created a lot of chances, but we still weren’t quite sharp enough in our mind. It might have been a bit of fatigue from the weekend and it came from a mistake from them. We weren’t quite sharp enough, but it fell to us, and you need a bit of luck, which we didn’t get at Port Vale.”
The match was brought to a halt during the first half as a supporter received emergency medical treatment in the stand, and the manager was keen to send some words of support as all at Exeter City wish the gentleman well.
Matt continued: “It was a strange atmosphere for that 10-minute period because nobody down on the pitch was really aware of what was happening. We send our thoughts and prayers to the bloke who has been taken ill and we hope he recovers.
“The lads put it behind them as quick as they possibly could, but it was a strange period for us as no one really knew what to do in those circumstances. Fingers crossed the guy is ok.”