The defence was assured. Pat Baldwin and Danny Coles both commanded at the back. Aaron Dawson stepped in ably when he replaced an injured Jordan Moore Taylor on 13 minutes. Craig Woodman looking assured on the right and linked well with David Wheeler. David Wheeler looked good on the wing, happy to run at players or run down the line.
Arron Dawson on the other side is playing some of his best football since joining the Grecians. The lack of Tommy Doherty and Alan Gow in the midfield meant we lost some bite and imagination. Sam Parkin looked good, won headers and held the ball up. John O’Flynn just didn’t see enough of the ball. Artur Krysiak had a typical game in goal, and undoubtedly helped us take a point from Field Mill.
Paul Tisdale said after the match:-
Perhaps if we had done ten per cent better – not in terms of energy, effort or commitment, but if we’d just put a few more passes together and had more of a flow to our play. I think three or four more passes would have opened them up; we forced the ball too often and ended up giving it away.
Each side can look at it and think there were a couple of chances missed. We had a terrific ball across the face of goal which their defender made a brilliant stop to, and their ‘keeper did terrifically well on set-pieces and showed real athleticism to get a hand on the ball a number of times.
The concerns of fans will be how the goals are going to be scored. According to the match stats, the Grecians had 17 shots at goal, an impressive number, however only 4 of those were judged to be on target. Tommy Doherty and Jamie Reid were brought on after 87 and 88 minutes, however that was too late to have any real influence on the game and should have been done earlier. Getting the ball to Parkin instead of O’Flynn was an issue, and one that I believe Tisdale was reflecting on.
For a 0-0 this was an entertaining game. It will also be remembered as being the 3rd anniversary of the untimely death of Exeter City’s number 9 Adam Stansfield. A tribute was made by the 272 travelling Grecians, on 9 minutes, consisting of applause and the chanting of his name. The tribute was respected by the Mansfield Town fans, and many Stags fans joining in with the applause.
As to the game, Paul Tisdale continued:-
It was a game full of energy and forceful play, but we could have made a few more considered decisions with the ball.
Mansfield manager Paul Cox said on Mansfield Town’s website:-
We needed that clean sheet to use as a base and I was delighted with how we defended. We tweaked things in terms of our team selection and I thought we were a handful going forwards too.
You have to score goals in order to win matches, and we still need to find that extra bit of a cutting-edge now we have stepped up a division.
But the lads worked extremely hard and for the first 60 to 70 minutes, we always looked positive
Link to the Paul Tisdale comments on the official site. tis-we-forced-the-ball-too-often-984263.aspx
Official match report. http://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/fixtures-results/match-report/
Cheggers Pics. gallery-mansfield-town-0-exeter-city-0-985578.aspx