Green for grateful Grecians
EXETER boss Paul Tisdale was left purring at Brunton Park’s pitch after his side recorded an overdue victory away at labouring Carlisle.
The Grecians recorded only their second win of 2015 after Ryan Harley netted either side of a Steven Rigg equaliser, before Liam Sercombe put the game to bed in injury time.
And Tisdale insisted the playing surface in Cumbria played straight into his men’s hands.
“That is the best pitch we have played on since November time, so that’s a massive help to the way we play,” he said.
“It’s very flat and true, and we could play our football – but we also defended our own box admirably.”
Tisdale felt a result had been on the cards for his side, who were winless in seven prior to their northern venture.
“We made good decisions and got the rub of the green at certain points, but it was a very competent display,” he added.
“We marked this one out as our chance to get the three points. It’s a long way back but that makes it seem a lot shorter.”
Exeter really should have been ahead when a long ball found its way through to striker Tom Nichols, but he somehow slid his effort wide from eight yards.
But it was the Grecians who took the lead shortly after. Alex Nicholls’ chip found the crossbar, but Nichols recovered the rebound before squaring for Harley to prod home.
Carlisle offered a threat of their own, and it was their eye-catching winger David Amoo who provided the spark for their equaliser.
After jinking away from two Exeter men, he delivered a pinpoint cross into Rigg, who calmly stroked his half-volley past James Hamon.
The second period brought more of the same, with Exeter retaking the lead through Harley once more. A loose clearance fell to the feet of the midfielder, who took a touch before calmly stroking into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
The Cumbrians searched in vain for an equaliser, with in-form frontman Charlie Wyke forcing a smart save from Hamon.
But it was Exeter who rounded things off in style through Sercombe.
“It’s a strange one,” said Carlisle boss Keith Curle.“We could easily be sat here with a 2-2 draw and still feeling downbeat about how we didn’t win the game, so to lose is disappointing.
“I thought we were a bit naïve with David Amoo. He had their full-back beaten and in the secondhalf we barely got the ball to him.
“There’s going to be plenty more twists and turns, but I’m 100 per cent confident we’ll be all right.”
STAR MAN RYAN HARLEY