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League Two

Stylish Exeter City win warms Paul Tisdale's heart

22 March 2014

Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale said the manner of his side's thumping 3-0 victory over Fleetwood Town had "warmed his heart" after it boosted their survival chances.

Jon Parkin's own goal set Exeter on their way midway through the first half before Eliot Richards' quick brace in the second period put the gloss on Exeter's first home win in five and a half months.

"The performance was secondary to the result, of course, but when you win 3-0 and play that well, it does warm your heart and give you plenty of encouragement going forward," Tisdale said.

"It was a very comprehensive performance and it wasn't over-complicated.

"We played with real tempo and we connected, there were no big gaps on the pitch.

"The players were totally committed and tough against a strong and athletic side.

"We played with care and freedom with our passing which, considering the position we are in and the anxiety around, was great and I am so proud of them.

"It is only one win and we have to keep our nerve whether we win or lose.

"It is an important three points, but it really was encouraging.

"I don't think it was fortuitous in any way, it went our way and it is amazing how that happens when the team plays with real gusto.

"I am delighted for Eliot Richards, who scored two goals, but there were four or five players that really stood out - especially senior players that have been given responsibility at the moment.

"It is a tough situation and they are raising their game."

The defeat was a blow to Fleetwood's promotion aspirations and manager Graham Alexander admitted his side were well beaten.

"It was not good enough," he said. "All three goals were set pieces which is a massive disappointment given the amount of work we do on them.

"We didn't compete at the level we should be competing at. We were out-battled and out-played.

"There was one individual out there that did everything he had to do, which was Nathan Pond.

"I thought he was outstanding. But it looked like it was easier for Exeter to get the three points than us.

"The lads are hurting in there and so they should be.

"There was nothing in the game before the first goal - it was quite a flat game and the first goal gave them a lift.

"We didn't really recover from that up to half-time.

"In the second half we showed a bit more energy and had a couple of opportunities, but then we shot ourselves in the foot by giving a poor corner away and not defending it properly.

"We caused them problems in the second half, but we can't start to play when you are 3-0 down.

"It is a sore one. People will look at ourselves and be asking if we have got a soft chin."

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