Gre­cians clos­ing on play-off po­si­tions

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Mark Wil­liams

PAUL Tis­dale has chal­lenged his play-off search­ing charges to main­tain their fo­cus, af­ter an im­pres­sive Ex­eter made it eight games un­beaten with a thump­ing vic­tory at Grimsby.

A top-seven fin­ish is prov­ing an in­creas­ing pos­si­bil­ity for the in-form Gre­cians, who con­vinc­ingly sealed an­other three points thanks to goals from Reuben Reid, David Wheeler and top goalscorer Ol­lie Watkins.

“The most pleas­ing thing for me is we came away from home, to a dif­fi­cult ground, played a good team in good form and con­trolled the game from start to fin­ish,” said Tis­dale.

“We’re in the mid­dle of win­ter now and so a dif­fer­ent kind of foot­ball is re­quired to win matches and, at the mo­ment, we are do­ing this re­ally well.

“Over­all, it was a com­pre­hen­sive and com­plete away per­for­mance and I am de­lighted.

“Our team as­pect has re­ally de­vel­oped in the last few weeks and now it is about keep­ing a con­tin­ued fo­cus un­til the end of the sea­son. We have to main­tain the fo­cus.

“I don’t know just how far this team can go but if we can re­main dis­ci­plined then we will keep pass­ing the weekly chal­lenges.”

The Mariners were play­ing with flu­id­ity in at­tack early on, and in-de­mand striker Omar Bogle came within inches of giv­ing the hosts the lead on 25 min­utes, curling ag­o­nis­ingly wide.

But there­after it was all Ex­eter and the hardy away fol­low­ing burst into a frenzy when Reid bun­dled home from close range in the 42nd minute.

The Gre­cians dou­bled their ad­van­tage on 59 min­utes. A hor­ri­ble mix-up at the back al­lowed Wheeler to steal pos­ses­sion, progress into the box and fire in off the post.

And the points were se­cured in the 80th minute when Watkins evaded two chal­lenges be­fore con­vert­ing from ten yards.

Mariners man­ager Mar­cus Big­not said: “We were dis­ap­pointed to con­cede just be­fore half­time and our de­fend­ing for two of their goals was in­ex­cus­able.

“But on the plus side a lot of lessons have been learned and I won't be too hard on the play­ers.

“There is a huge gap in qual­ity be­tween the level we are at and the level this club has just come from.

“If we want to stay at this level and in­deed move to the next stage, we have to bring new play­ers in to help us.

“And that is why we are work­ing tire­lessly this month to see what we can do.”

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