The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Nathan Ja­cobs

THE 350-mile trip home from Carlisle was cer­tainly more bear­able for Ex­eter City af­ter they moved back to the top of the ta­ble cour­tesy of a win­ner de­scribed as ironic by man­ager Paul Tis­dale.

Brun­ton Park has his­tor­i­cally not been a happy hunt­ing ground for the Gre­cians with the Devon-based club hav­ing only claimed one vic­tory from their last six trips there.

But af­ter an en­ter­tain­ing match it was Tis­dale’s men who emerged vic­to­ri­ous, al­beit via a goal scored from a set­piece af­ter Pierce Sweeney headed in from a cor­ner.

“It is nice to leave here for once with a win and it [the goal] was ac­tu­ally ironic,” said the Ex­eter boss.

“It was a very open game with such a big ex­pan­sive pitch, a won­der­ful sur­face, yet with all that open play and that end-to-end stuff in that fi­nal half-hour, it is ironic the only goal comes from a set-piece. Ul­ti­mately you have got to make sure you stop it in front of the goal and we did that.

“We haven’t done that in the past. Christy played his part but there were play­ers get­ting their heads on the ball – Dean Moxey, Jor­dan Till­son and Craig Wood­man – they all did their bit. It is bet­ter to be at the top than the other end but it is a long way to go and we will take it one game at a time.”

Carlisle started strongly with Shaun Miller see­ing an ef­fort blocked and Danny Grainger fir­ing a 25-yard shot just wide.

The fran­tic start con­tin­ued with Jay­den Stock­ley’s au­da­cious over­head-kick smack­ing the post for Ex­eter while Reuben Reid bun­dled his way through, forc­ing Carlisle stop­per Bon­ham into a great save.

The Gre­cians had a goal dis­al­lowed af­ter 11 min­utes as Troy Brown prod­ded home a Lee Holmes cross, only for the ref­eree to chalk it off for a foul.

Ex­eter took the lead early in the sec­ond half as Holmes de­liv­ered a de­light­ful cor­ner, headed back across by Brown, be­fore Sweeney nod­ded in.

Carlisle were in fact the bet­ter side af­ter con­ced­ing with Luke Joyce test­ing keeper Christy Pym with a rasp­ing drive, Miller see­ing his header cleared off the line by Dean Moxey, and Pym then some­how claw­ing Clint Hill’s vol­ley over.

Carlisle man­ager Keith Curle said: “Goals change games; the goal gave them some­thing to de­fend.

“The sooner we break the duck and win that game at home the bet­ter, but we’re mak­ing it harder for our­selves be­cause now we’ve got to pick points away.

“I have a group of play­ers that don’t shy away from hard work and they’re be­ing ex­cel­lent at the minute, but we’ve got to keep work­ing hard and you get the re­wards. The harder you work the

luck­ier you get.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

IN THE NET: Pierce Sweeney’s header crosses the line for Ex­eter

HERO: Pierce Sweeney en­joys his win­ning goal

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