Sing when they’re winning

Last Saturday was a cause for celebration as Exeter City ran out 3-1 winners against Rochdale with Daniel Nardiello scoring two on his 29th birthday, and also loanee Jake Taylor’s first professional goal sealed the win, writes Gareth Hughes.

In truth, there were many reasons for fans to come away from the ground in a happy and jubilant mood. Apart from the goals, what stood out was the energy and effort on the pitch and, importantly, also in the stands.

There has not been too much to cheer about recently and on Saturday the fans really made a difference, as a positive mood from kick off was maintained throughout the 90 minutes. The Grecians, however ,did not have it all their own way and, in the first half, a combination of the woodwork, a clearance off the line by Steve Tully, and a much-improved performance from City keeper Artur Krysiak, all played their part in dealing with a 45 minute period of pressure from the Dale, which on another day, may have had the game wrapped up by the interval.

The pressure counted on the 31st minute when a poor pass from Steve Tully was intercepted, leading to a low cross to the edge of the six yard box where Nathan Ecclestone was on hand to slot past Krysiak and make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Going in at half time 1-0 down would have been calamitous and, as the clock wound down to the break, thankfully, Exeter levelled. A misplaced clearance by Rochdale’s Stephen Darby saw the ball drop to City captain Noble, whose 40 yard shot was deflected off a Dale player and fell to Nardiello. On the turn he fired in off the post to send the teams in 1-1.

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After the break, a reshaped City got a penalty after the lively and energetic Taylor was brought down in the box. Up stepped the birthday boy to make it two for him and for the team. A third goal came from my Man of the Match, the selfless Jake Taylor, smashing a low drive through the keeper at the near post from the corner of the six yard box, to send the crowd wild.

Manager Paul Tisdale was proud of the way the players came back from being a goal down. He also singled out the club's supporters for the way they cheered on City.

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On Tuesday, it was a quick dash up the M5 to 17th placed Walsall. With the Grecians’ poor away form, this was another strong test of confidence, but they overcame the Saddlers with a magical 2-1 victory! There were two more goals for Daniel Nardiello, scoring in the 8th and 78th minutes. The 400 travelling City faithful by all accounts played their part to the full . City are out of the relegation zone! Sheffield United away this weekend. Come on you Reds- anything's possible!

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