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League Two

Paul Tisdale praises Exeter City kids

3 May 2014

Paul Tisdale paid tribute to his young squad after Exeter City ended their season on a high by winning 2-1 at Hartlepool United.

The Grecians made their longest trip of the season, but earned an eighth away win of the campaign - the same number as two of the teams in the Play-Offs.

With their safety only confirmed in the previous game, Tisdale's side played with some freedom and mobility to see off the out-of-sorts home side.

The Grecians jumped over Pools in the Sky Bet League 2 standings with victory, achieved with first-half goals from Jimmy Keohane and David Wheeler.

"We played to the script, we played relaxed and scored two really good goals,'' said Tisdale. "Jordan Tillson came in at centre-half for his debut and I've not seen too many better debuts.

"He conceded a penalty but that was the only blot on his card, to be honest. He didn't let it affect his performance; you have to say he was exceptional.

"David Wheeler played up front alone and it suited him. It's given me something to consider, but it's good to have players available who can play in more than one position and, if we play the shape like we did, could he play there? He did extremely well.

"Jimmy Keohane started in his preferred position, but had to drop deeper when Liam Sercombe was injured and had to go off.''

But Tisdale also admitted: "I'm not going to get too carried away; this was a game for players to be relaxed and play with freedom, which is something you can't normally do.

"I've just told them in the dressing room the same. Jimmy scored a wonderful goal, he's got two in two, maybe going forward he can add to that.

"Matt Gill dug in there and you couldn't get two more extreme midfield assists. One was from a strong tackle to win possession for the team, the other from a good interchange of passes and long pass over the top. Matt had an extremely good game and I'm pleased for him.

"It's nice to end the season on a high, it's certainly better than losing and finishing on a flat note.''

Instead it was Pools who ended on a flat note. Their only chance to get something came with a Jack Compton penalty but that was saved in the 45th minute.

"Too many players had an end-of-season mentality,'' fumed boss Colin Cooper.

"All the right things were said before the game, the right messages, but nothing happened.

"Everyone can say things, but it's about actions and too many disappointed me with their actions.

"It's a home game, in front of our own fans, and I didn't see enough energy or excitement from our players.

"We allowed Exeter time and space and it let them play. We were miles off it, miles off.

"It's frustrating to end the season in this way. As I said the right words were spoken, but not carried out.

"To finish on that makes me hugely frustrated.''

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