DELIGHTED TIS HAILS ‘BELIEVERS’
PAUL TISDALE felt the belief shown by his Exeter City side was the key to their impressive victory at high-flying Colchester United.
The Grecians, who went into the game second from bottom, trailed 2-1 at half-time and looked like they were heading for a fifth league defeat.
But Exeter turned the game around in the second half to claim a welcome win.
Exeter boss Tisdale said: “The turning point was at half-time – we came in 2-1 down when we didn’t deserve to be and had played some really good football. We knew we had to keep playing and keep faith in what we do.
“We’re not in a favourable position in the league and we were 2-1 down away from home against a very strong side, but you either believe or you don’t and we believed. We scored three really good goals and we held on.”
Colchester head coach John McGreal was disappointed to see his side suffer a first home defeat of the season.
“You have to credit Exeter and the way they performed. They passed the ball and made us work a lot harder than we have done over the last couple of games,” he said.
“We were delighted to come in at half-time 2-1 up but their goal soon after half-time pegged us back and we seemed quite happy to be content for a 2-2.
“They scored again to go 3-2 up and after that we threw caution to the wind.
“We had a bit of a huff and puff at the end where we’ve created numerous chances to perhaps come away with a draw.”
Exeter went ahead after eight minutes as Robbie Simpson netted from six yards after Jordan MooreTaylor’s header had hit a post following a free-kick into the area.
Simpson blasted over from ten yards with only Sam Walker to beat three minutes later.
And less than two minutes after that Colchester were level as Sammie Szmodics swept home at the near post after skipper Luke Prosser had headed a free-kick back across goal.
Walker made a fine save from point-blank range to deny Jake Taylor after another swift Exeter break.
But Colchester went ahead seven minutes before the break through Kurtis Guthrie, who brilliantly glanced home Brennan Dickenson’s corner. Szmodics’ low shot flashed inches wide but five minutes after half-time Exeter equalised when Ollie Watkins drilled home a fine low shot. And the Grecians completed their comeback midway through the second half when Jack Stacey escaped down the right and crossed low for substitute Joel Grant to convert at the far post. Szmodics rattled a post but Exeter held out to claim an impressive victory.
WAT’S UP: Exeter’s Ollie Watkins breaks through the Colchester defence
BLUES AND TWOS: United scorer Kurtis Guthrie