City feel at home thanks to O’Flynn
JUDGING by the first two home games of the season, Exeter have discovered a knack for winning matches at St James Park.
Last season the Grecians’ play-off challenge fizzled out after they won just seven of their 23 encounters on home soil.
But yesterday’s comfortable victory over AFC Wimbledon made it two wins out of two for an Exeter side that could surprise a few people this season.
Their build-play appears more patient, their passing is slicker and in Sam Parkin they have a striker with a physical prowess who can ruffle more than a few feathers.
Yet it was John O’Flynn who stole the plaudits yesterday after his double inflicted a first league defeat on a Dons side who were feeble in the first half much to the anger of their manager Neal Ardley.
Exeter boss Paul Tisdale: “We obviously struggled a bit last season at home so hopefully things have turned around. I just hope it doesn’t go the other way and we start to struggle on the road.
“The players really started the game fantastically well.
“There was a lot of positivity and creativity and threat on the goal and we thoroughly deserved our two-goal lead.
“We maybe could have got more, but 2-0 is good enough.
“We had a really bad week going into the game in terms of injuries and not knowing what the team was.
“But John O’Flynn took his goals really well and we are all very pleased with the win.”
O’Flynn’s opener came after he let fly with a shot that deflected off Barry Fuller and flew past keeper Ross Worner.
The Irishman doubled the lead nine minutes before the break, steering David Wheeler’s cross into the bottom corner of the net. Wimbledon almost grabbed a lifeline after the break but Craig Woodman headed Andy Frampton’s header off the line.
Ardley was furious at his side’s abject first-half display, saying: “There was some raised voices at half-time. “I have said to the players that one thing which is high on the list of every performance is the basics. Well we didn’t turn up with any energy, pace or desire.
“We were so off the pace in the first half and they were twice as quick as us.
“They anticipated second balls and did the rubbish side of the game and we didn’t.
“I don’t care how good we think this group of players are, we won’t win games in this league without doing the basics.”