SWEENEY NICKS POINTS FOR TIS
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.”
IN THE NET: Pierce Sweeney’s header crosses the line for Exeter
HERO: Pierce Sweeney enjoys his winning goal