Western Morning News

Taylor left so disappoint­ed by Exeter’s poor start and defeat to Morecambe

- DANIEL CLARK Daniel.Clark@reachplc.com

EXETER City boss Matt Taylor said his side ‘paid the price’ for the start which wasn’t good enough as they were beaten at home for the fourth time in eight against Morecambe.

Adam Phillips’s penalty gave the Shrimps an early lead, and with City overrun, Taylor made a double substituti­on just 20 minutes in, bringing on Nicky Law and Jake Caprice for Ben Seymour and Alex Hartridge.

The Grecians improved, but Cole Stockton on the break midway through the second half doubled the lead and gave the visitors a smashand-grab 2-0 win.

The result leaves City down in ninth place in League Two, Morecambe rise to third, and means it is now just two wins in 10, with eight of those games on their own patch.

Taylor, speaking after the game, said the start wasn’t acceptable and that despite the improved performanc­e, they huffed and puffed without creating anything.

“We paid the price for a start that wasn’t good enough,” the manager said. “We knew it would be difficult against a good team but we gave them an in with our start and we were forced into changing shape and personal very early.

“It shored us up and made us a better team and the instructio­ns at half time were to keep it simple and the one moment we tried to force it, we left ourselves open at the back and we didn’t have the mobility to cover the counter attack.

“We huffed and puffed and it’s the hardest thing to do to play against a block, but we gave them to right to do that, and we didn’t have a clear sight of goal.”

On the early changes, Taylor said “The wing backs couldn’t jump out quick enough and outside centre backs weren’t there. We weren’t quite there to start the game and 20 minutes in, you think about how early you can make a change tactical and personnel wise. We were already a goal down - and it was such a poor goal as the lad has ran 20 yards and past five of our defenders.

“Everyone keeps saying about playing two centre forwards but when a team is not as strong off the back of it, I have to look at it. But the team should have been better to start the game, that’s the crux of it and we didn’t threaten their goal enough or make them work enough. The group pushed and pushed and the more they gave the harder it got, and we didn’t quite have it in us to break them down.

“We have to digest in what the start was, but then we were the better team, but it’s irrelevant when the score is 2-0. We lacked a bit of mobility in the backline and gaps started to show. Full credit to Morecambe. They got ahead and stayed ahead, and we didn’t have the quality or knowhow to break them down.”

The penalty came after goalkeeper Jonny Maxted brought down Phillips, and Taylor said he had no complaints about referee Craig Hicks’ decision.

Asked for his thoughts, he said: “It looked like a penalty, but he has run 20 yards and through and into the backline, and put Jonny under pressure and he has brought him down.”

He added: “We started poorly, got a foothold back in the game, looked like we were progressin­g well, and then another sucker punch goal left us with too much to do.”

 ?? Phil Mingo/PPAUK ?? Jokull Andresson saves under pressure from Ryan Bowman
Phil Mingo/PPAUK Jokull Andresson saves under pressure from Ryan Bowman

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