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League Two

Paul Tisdale hails 'fantastic' finish for Exeter City

8 February 2014

Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale felt his side fully deserved a point from their 1-1 draw with Portsmouth after Liam Sercombe netted a stoppage-time equaliser.

The Grecians midfielder, who announced he was soon to become a father for the first time, struck with virtually the last kick of the match after Jake Jervis had netted a ninth-minute opener for Pompey.

"It was a fantastic end to a fantastic game," Tisdale said. "It was a brilliant game, the atmosphere was fantastic under really difficult conditions, but I am really proud of the way my team played and delighted that we got that deserved goal at the end.

"I thought we were terrific in that first half against the wind and we had three or four opportunities in the six-yard box where we didn't get a touch or get to the rebound.

"We then lost Scot Bennett and Pat Baldwin at half-time through injury and coped with that very well. It is three games unbeaten for us now, it is small building blocks but there is a lot of work going into it and we will see more of our young team developing.

"We had a few crosses in the first half where we didn't quite get on the end of it and that went on into the second half, things were bouncing around and off the goalkeeper - well, at some point you have to put it in the net. As much as we say it is unlucky, it can't be a coincidence."

Portsmouth boss Richie Barker admitted the dramatic conclusion to the game was a cruel blow for his side, who would have gone above Exeter had they held on.

"It feels like a defeat," he said. "We were 40 seconds away from two extra points which would have been massive. I can't fault the players, I thought their attitude was fantastic.

"We have not seen it out but I am not sure where four minutes of injury time has come from. It is tough to take but the positive is five away games without a defeat. But it is another draw.

"I have said to the players it would have been a massive three points. I am gutted really because the players did everything that was asked of them.

"It was never going to be a pretty game. It was a reaction from last week and we have set ourselves a target where we don't lose two games in a row.

"It is two points dropped in terms of how close we were. Everybody played the game in the right way. It was end-to-end and there were plenty of chances for both sides."

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