💬 Ryan Bowman: “It was one of the best opening 10-15 minutes I’ve been involved in.”

Ryan Bowman was full of praise for the way Exeter City started the game against Forest Green Rovers and says it provided the platform for the 1-0 win at St James Park.

Ryan scored with 11 minutes on the clock, directing Jack Sparkes’ cross home, in the game’s only goal, in a result that sees City return to the top of the table, level with first-placed Crewe Alexandra on points and goal-difference.

“It was one of the best opening 10-15 minutes I’ve ever been involved in, lots of pressure, five corners and obviously we got the goal as well”, Ryan said. “I don’t think they fancied it after that.”

“The guy’s got hold of me in the box and I’ve got to wriggle away, Sparkes has put a great ball in and I’ve got a good foot to the ball and luckily it’s gone in the back of the net. After that, it was a pity we couldn’t get that second.”

“On another day we definitely would have had more – (Nicky) Lawsy was unlucky, nicked the ball off the centre half and seen the ‘keeper off his line and is unlucky, he’s overhit it a little bit and then the one I played across the box Lawsy just couldn’t quite get the touch – I thought it might have been a penalty in all fairness because his defender comes from behind – on another day we might have had three or four, but the main thing is we got the three points.”

Ryan credited strong team character for digging deep and keeping a vital clean sheet in adverse circumstances: “You never know how the referees will play out, we don’t want to concentrate too much on the referees – we’d rather play our own game and to be fair, we had some silly fouls given against us and given for us. It probably evens itself out across the game but the boys still showed great character to get the three points.”

Ryan was also delighted to see Nigel Atangana make his league debut – “it was really good to see Nigel back in action – he’s looked really sharp in training day in, day out and played a couple of reserve games and looked really sharp in those too – he’s been biding his time and it’s difficult to get into a midfield where you’ve got Lawsy, Jake and Archie in the middle but fair play to him because he’s come on and done a really good job for the team, he’s worked really hard for it.”

“We know what we’re going to get from the home support – it’s unbelievable, we don’t take it for granted at all, they’re fantastic home and away and today, we’ve given them something to cheer about – not just the goal, but Aaron Martin’s block in the first half and Jonny’s save in the second half – things like that don’t go unnoticed.”