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10:06 03 April 2014

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Whilst last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Accrington was another big disappointment, another way to look at it, is that in an eight day period Exeter City collected six points out of a possible nine, beating local rivals Plymouth Argyle and Fleetwood Town who are already well established in the play-off positions, writes Gareth Thomas.

Whilst I was unfortunately unable make the Plymouth game the same Exeter team who faced Accrington previously produced two stunning displays to secure back to back wins and expectations were high for a result against James Beattie’s Accrington. Clearly it was not to be and quite difficult to understand how Saturdays overall team performance was so lacking, and so different from those achieved against Fleetwood and Plymouth.

With both teams worried about being sucked into the relegation battleground it was always going to be a nervy affair and maybe after the heroics of their previous two games, tired legs and minds gave way to the winning edge mentality.

Neither side were able to create very much in the opening half, but there were chances at both ends.

For City Eliot Richards had a strike blocked and Danny Coles headed straight into the arms of Accrington keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

For the fans half time could not come quick enough in the hope that the manager and a break for the players would make a difference.

Unfortunately for Exeter though, on the stroke of halftime Accrington scored the crucial goal after a corner was dropped by Artur Krysiak, the loose ball bounced around the box and in that desperate moment when time almost freezes, an Accrington player managed to get a foot to the ball and poke it in.

In the second half there was some improvement from City and they cranked up the pressure, but despite changed their attacking substitutions in the shape of O’Flynn, Parkin and Grimes they were unable to level the game, with Accrington defence restricting them to long-range efforts and hopeful balls into the box.

City boss Paul Tisdale was disappointed and criticised the team for not following instructions. He said: “We weren’t good enough, we were lacklustre with our performance. In isolation, our players looked on top of their game in the opening half hour, but it didn’t relate to what I had asked them to do as a team. Accrington played well as a team and controlled the game and deserved their win. We got exactly what we deserved because we didn’t play the way I asked them to play. It’s not about being a good player, it’s about being part of a good team. It has nothing to do with how much you want it, it is about doing the right thing at the right time and we didn’t. We deserved to lose.”

This Saturday it’s another trip up north to the Gigg Lane home of Bury. With the league table being so tight Bury are currently in 12th position on 50 points whilst the Grecians have 47 points and find themselves in 19th position just seven points off the two relegation positions.

On Tuesday evening Bury beat fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers 2-1 which was Darrell Clarke’s first defeat since taking over from John Ward as Bristol Rovers manager.

Another surprise win away from home will be most welcome. Come on you Reds!

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