Exeter City manager Matt Taylor says that his side were good value for their 2-1 win over Stevenage.
City could have been lamenting missed opportunities when Daniel Kemp equalised for the visitors out of nowhere, but the home side responded immediately at St James Park as Matt Jay scored the winner.
“I thought we played well," said Matt. "One of the best performances we’ve had this year actually, in terms of the way we used the ball. We had a pace about us, a threat about us – we just couldn’t quite get that second goal, and a mistake – a misjudgement – and they punished us.
"Then we’re on the back foot all of a sudden. So to score so quickly after that, I was delighted and that’s a bit of character from MJ to do that. To stand up and be counted. It was important for him to do that.”
"There’s no better time to score than straight after conceding. I was pleased with the amount we hurt them today.”
Randell Williams had scored with a thunderous header in the first-half to give City the lead, but several spurned chances in the second meant the Grecians were defending a narrow lead in the closing stages. After a defensive misjudgement, Kemp fired past Lewis Ward in the City goal, before Matt Jay struck a decisive winner.
“I’m delighted for MJ," added Matt "We know what he gives us, he enjoys playing against Stevenage. He got the winner today, obviously scored two in the Leasing.com Trophy. We’re disappointed to lose Nicky (Law); hopefully that’s not too serious because he’s an influential player. MJ keeps influencing in a positive way, he deserves this opportunity and he’ll keep getting them.
"I thought he was well-supported by the bodies in and around him, I’m not sure there were too many players I could criticise in terms of their performance and with a large amount of the group playing well, you’re going to put yourself in a good position to win games of football. Like I say, there were a lot of good points from us today.”
Matt came on as a substitute for Nicky Law in the first-half following a collision. Matt Taylor provided an update after the game on Nicky's condition:
“Nicky took a nasty blow, it was a coming together," he said. "He’s got a bit of whiplash, a bang on the eye and a bit of blurred vision. I'm not sure that’s due to the bang on the head, but we’ll see how he is and we hope it isn’t concussion because there’s all the protocols – and rightly so – to make sure he’s fit and healthy to play again. We’ll assess him over the next couple of days but it was mainly due to the vision as opposed to anything else and we’ll see if that was a direct bang or a scratch on the eye.
“But, MJ was there ready to step in and with Jake (Taylor) also out, it puts a lot of pressure on our midfield. I really liked Nigel (Atangana) and Archie (Collins) today, covering the ground and apart from Stevenage's goal, the back three did what I wanted them to do.”
In terms of looking forward, Matt was philosophical about the League Two table as we enter the final third of the season. The win did take City back to third, but he sees plenty of changes between now and the end of the campaign.
“A lot was made of last week and not picking up points but that’s all it was last week," said Matt. "Not us losing our chance, just us not picking up points. It’ll change. There is 15 games left, a third of the season, and people are already talking about third and second and fourth. It’ll change every single week from now until the end of April so we can’t control that. We can only control performances and performances turn into points and that’s our focus at this stage.
“It is on to Tuesday, a quick turnaround, and we have couple of niggles on the back of today and last weekend so I’ve got to pick a sensible team on Tuesday against a team who have hit a bit of form all of a sudden. I was pleased with our performance today, we gave ourselves a real chance of winning today and Stevenage were a better team than a couple of weeks ago – their new signings made a difference. On another day it might have been three or four, but I’m really happy with the win.”
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