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O'Flynn enjoyed his spot of banter before rescuing a point for Grecians

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 13, 2012

John O'Flynn celebrates after netting his penalty against Fleetwood Town last Saturday. Picture: Mat Mingo/Pinnacle

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John O'Flynn won the battle of the minds by netting Exeter City's equalising goal in the 2-2 draw with Fleetwood Town at St James' Park last Saturday.

The 30-year-old Irishman had just seen his side awarded a penalty kick after a foul by Youl Mawene on Jamie Cureton and, in the intervening delay, Cod Army goalkeeper Scott Davies did his best to put off the former Barnet man.

But O'Flynn coolly dispatched the kick high into the net to draw Exeter level before giving Davies a few choice words of his own as he celebrated his strike.

"He was saying to me, 'You can't miss a penalty with that hair' and that he had been watching videos all week of me taking penalties, so, when I stuck it in, I ran back to him and said he obviously didn't watch that video," O'Flynn said.

"It was banter and he took it well, I took it well – it was all good fun. It was nice to watch him go the wrong way as well, but he was never going to save it anyway. He then brought me down two minutes later for another one."

Indeed, just seconds after making it 2-2, O'Flynn was sent sprawling by Davies for what seemed like a second clear-cut spot kick. It appeared referee Fred Graham had given it at first, but he was pointing for a goal-kick, rather than a penalty, much to the Grecians' frustration.

"I thought it was a stonewaller. The referee said no one touched me, but he definitely caught me," O'Flynn said.

"Why would I go down? I got sandwiched by two players and maybe the referee thought it was too soon after the first penalty and he would have had to send the man off. But it was a stone-wall penalty."

A draw was the very least the Grecians deserved, though, making it a pretty decent week with four points taken from successive home games against AFC Wimbledon and then Fleetwood.

Now, City travel north to face Bradford City this Saturday before heading east to Kent and an encounter with Gillingham next Tuesday.

"We have two tough away games coming up and hopefully we can bring two good home performances into this week. If it was offered to us, we would take four points again, definitely," O'Flynn added.

"We have been performing better away from home, but we seem to have found a formula to play at home now. We are confident when we go away from home and hopefully we can take the positives from the last two home games into this week and get something on the road."

All in all, Exeter will travel some 1,000 miles to reach the destination of their next two games. O'Flynn said: "It's odd, but I have been playing here for two seasons and you get used to travelling.

"We have a really good bus with beds at the back, the physio will look after us in terms of our recovery, so we just have to try and give everything for the Saturday game and try our best to recover so you are 100 per cent for the Tuesday game. We are used to it, though, so it makes no odds to us, really."

Like fifth-placed Fleetwood, both Bradford (fourth) and Gillingham (first) – and even Exeter's next opponents at St James' Park, ninth-placed Rotherham United – are involved in the promotion race. All of those teams have played some good football this season and have picked up some decent results and the Irishman feels that benefits the Grecians, who lie in tenth.

"We are a good football team and, when we play against another good footballing team, it tends to be a good game," he said. "We probably gave Fleetwood too much respect in the first half, but we took the game to them and they were lucky to hang on as they looked a bit panicked in the last ten minutes or so.

"Bradford will be a big test for us, but we are looking forward to it after the two good home games. We just want to do well on the road, like we have been doing."

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