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💬 "It is a team that is going in the right place with players who really care about it."

Matt Taylor reflects on a good perfomance and well-earned point at Stevenage

22 April 2019

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Exeter City manager Matt Taylor said he was pleased with his side's performance as they battled from a goal down to take a deserved point from Stevenage.

The Grecians fell behind when Kurtis Guthrie poked the ball home after his initial header had been blocked on the line by Dara O’Shea, but from that moment onwards it was City who controlled the proceedings.

Ryan Bowman scored an equaliser 11 minutes later – his fourth in five games – before Randell Williams and Lee Martin hit the crossbar. Bowman then had a goal disallowed and Jake Taylor forced a good save out of the home keeper.  

“They can’t do much more in terms of the performance,” said Matt. “We can break it down into minor details but I said to that group of players if we approached the game like we did – on the front foot and pressing and running ourselves into the game – then we would give ourselves a chance and we did that against a good Stevenage team, who are in form.  

“We created chances. I am not sure how the ball has not gone in the goal. If I had a minor criticism it would be not finishing it off and the poor goal that we conceded but I just felt, we were a team that showed how much we wanted it in terms of being on the front foot and attacking that game.  

“We made all the running. I felt we were the better team today and that is no disrespect to Stevenage who are a good team, but I felt we were the better team and we just couldn’t quite get that all important goal.”

Bowman got the equaliser when a well-worked corner saw Nicky Law thread the ball into Jake Taylor in the box. His initial shot was blocked before Bowman followed up to score.  

Having not scored in his first 12 games as a City player, Bowman is now hitting the back of the net with regularity and Matt Taylor was pleased with his all-round display. 

“It is confidence,” he said. “It does incredible things for you as a centre-forward if you score goals, but he was another handful today, supported really well by Lee Martin and Randell Williams.  

“Their pace and their legs and their direct play hurt Stevenage and the rest of the group did exactly what I asked of them. There are days when you get frustrated as a manager because as a draw you might see it as a couple of points dropped but I have got to be pleased with that group of players today.” 

The point leaves City in the final play-off place in seventh, two points ahead of the chasing pack. Asked how he saw the promotion race with two games to go, Matt said: “It will go down to the wire, I am sure of that.  

“We have got to recover now and go into the game with Oldham playing like that. A lot was made of our start against Crawley.

"You aim to put out the same performance at the start of every game and the opposition play their part, but we showed in that middle period what a good team we were against Crawley. However, we had given ourselves too much to do.  

“We gave ourselves a bit of a hill to climb in terms of conceding that goal in the first half today but the quick response was what I was pleased with and we just kept on moving forward.  

“This team has to keep on moving forward regardless of what happens this season. It is a team that is going in the right place with players who really care about it and try and do their best. It doesn’t always happen that way and performance are often up and down but I was pleased with them today.” 

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