Exeter City manager Matt Taylor says the 0-0 draw against Colchester United was a fair reflection on the balance of the game as the Grecians continued their remarkable run of not conceding so far in 2020.
City had the better of the limited chances in the game, with Ryan Bowman, Jayden Richardson and Nicky Law going closest for the home side with their chances in the opening and closing stages of the game.
“There were two good teams going at it,” said Matt. “I felt we started the game really well and probably had our best chances within the first five minutes of the first-half and then they came back into it strongly. If I had to nit-pick a little bit, our delivery and our use of the ball wasn’t good enough at times.
"That was probably due to the pressure they put us under, and an intensity we could match in most areas but it meant that when we won the ball back, we had to use it better than we did. That would have meant there was less space on the pitch for them to utilise because they’ve got some very good attacking players. Second-half, a much improved performance, still probably a game where both teams were cancelling each other out to a certain extent – we might have had the odd chance towards the end, I felt we were getting stronger as the game went on, but it wasn’t to be.”
City countered Colchester with just three minutes on the clock and Ryan Bowman found himself through on goal, but his decision to cut inside onto his left foot meant the visitors’ defence could recover and exert enough pressure on the City striker to prevent Ryan from getting an accurate shot off and the ball rolled wide.
“We didn’t quite have it in us to beat the opposition with the ball today," added Matt "Whether that’s one-v-one with Randell (Williams) or using the ball with Nicky and the midfield. I don’t feel that our centre forwards got enough good quality service today – they were feeding off scraps and when the scraps went towards them, they weren’t close enough together and we never got any field position off the back of that and any foothold in the game.
"For a 0-0 draw, there was a good tempo to the game – you can get a lot of drab and dull 0-0 games but two teams going at it and two teams wanting to win – and those two chances at the end, you want them to fall right with Archie’s volley as the last kick of the game and if that flies in and we win the game, I’d probably be standing here being honest and saying we didn’t do enough to win it – a draw’s a fair result.”
Matt was also complimentary of the visitors from Essex, who proved to be City’s equals both in this fixture and the reverse; Saturday’s 0-0 following up the 2-2 at the Jobserve Community Stadium back in December. “Pierce cleared one off the line in the first-half and they’ve created some chances, and they have some seriously good players, so I’m content.
“Sometimes you draw games 0-0 and say you didn’t have a sight of their goal but early on, we had two really good sights at their goal," he said. "We started and finished well, a bit of a mess and a chaos in the middle, but two really good teams butting heads against each other and neither was taking a backwards step. A lot of improvements in terms of where we are as a football club, I think Colchester have invested in that group of players really well and it’s a good squad of players and we matched them today and we were unlucky not to come away with the points.
“There was nothing to separate us at their place and nothing between us here. There’s a lot to admire about Colchester – they promote their youth similar to ourselves and they’ve got some athletic players and some good players on the ball. Two good games against them – we’re probably slightly disappointed not to take more points from the games – but they were competitive games, no side took a backwards step and hopefully both teams are fighting at the top of the table near the end of the season.”
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