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League Two

Andy Awford satisfied with Portsmouth point

9 August 2014

Portsmouth manager Andy Awford was pleased to open the new season with a point, even if he felt his side could have taken all three in a 1-1 draw at Exeter City.

Jed Wallace levelled for Pompey 18 minutes from time to cancel out Tom Nichols' instinctive first-half volley for the Grecians.

"It is difficult on the first day, it is a bit nerve-wracking," he said. "You want to get the first day out of the way and make sure you don't get beaten. We were happy to take a point but obviously we would have liked to have won.

"We have created a few chances and it was a little bit of defence versus attack in the second half. We were camped in their half and our 'keeper has not been called upon too much.

"It was much better in the second half and that is the standard we expect. We didn't reach those standards in the first half and it was important we stayed in sight.

"We didn't move the ball quickly enough in the first half so that was the message to the lads at half time. Thankfully in the second half we did, we managed to score one and could have scored one or two more."

Exeter manager Paul Tisdale was delighted with a hard-earned point for his side, who were beset by injuries and illness going into the game.

The Grecians are under a transfer embargo and with numbers so low, Tisdale was forced to name himself on the bench for the Grecians.

"We had a lot of young players and I felt that a senior voice could be utilised," Tisdale said. "I couldn't really picture myself playing more than two or three minutes, but I am keeping myself fit at the moment because I know how thin we are on the ground.

"I just thought why not? I am fit and healthy, it is not a long-term plan and I have played eight minutes of football in the last 15 years, so that speaks for itself! I am not trying to court publicity.

"It says a lot about where we are at the moment. There is no stunt there and if I am needed in the last two or three minutes to talk or something, I was there to do it. But there was no opportunity for me there today and I am glad about it!"

As for the game itself, Tisdale said: "There was a real tension in and around the place, which is quite unusual for the first game of the season, but the players responded to that and played really, really well against very strong opponents."

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