Manager Paul Tisdale was pleased with Exeter City’s performance after they battled back from a goal down to earn a point from a 1-1 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.
The Grecians went into the match looking to halt a slide in form that had seen them lose five out of their last six npower League Two games.
The Daggers took the lead midway through the first half when Medy Elito’s mis-hit cross flew inside Artur Krysiak’s near post, but Exeter battled back to level through Jamie Cureton after the break. “I was very pleased with the way we played,” said Tisdale. “We have had a bit of a poor patch and we knew it would be a very competitive game.
“We knew the type of performance we were going to have to put in, because the game is so high tempo and erratic.
“The players responded very well and were very, very competitive. We didn’t have many periods of passing play.
“Maybe towards the end of the game, when we started to put pressure on them, we did, but I’m very pleased with the way we performed, and in a way I’m disappointed with a draw because we certainly played to win.”
Dagenham took the lead seven minutes before the break as Elito just got to a ball running out of play on the left byline. Attempting to cross the ball into the middle, the former Colchester United winger instead sliced a shot inside Krysiak’s near post.
Exeter pushed men forward in an attempt to pull a goal back before half-time, but were caught on the counter-attack as Elito ran through on goal and was brought down by Krysiak in the penalty area.
However, Tisdale’s half-time team-talk was made that bit easier when Dagenham’s top scorer Michael Spillane hit the spot-kick over the crossbar.
“I said to them I thought the first half was OK and not to be too disappointed, because I think their goal was a fluke,” said Tisdale.
“It was a mis-hit cross and it flies in the near post. He has hit very hard, it has gone from the byline and into the goal. I don’t think any ’keeper would have expected that.
“He [Artur] had a very good game. He made a very good save at the end from a corner.
“He was very positive and he came for a lot of ball.
“I’m reluctant to say that first goal was a mistake. I think it was a lucky strike from them.”
Exeter came out in determined mood at the start of the second half and they drew level in the 51st minute when Scot Bennett found Cureton, running through on goal, with a defence-splitting pass.
The experienced striker kept his cool to curl a shot around goalkeeper Chris Lewington for his ninth goal of the season. “I’m delighted for Jamie, he’s having a great season for us,” said Tisdale.
“He has scored some important goals for us and wants to do well for himself, and more importantly for the team.”
The draw dropped Exeter to 11th place in the table, although they remain only a point outside the play-offs places. City return to action on Saturday with an away game against fourth-placed Cheltenham Town.
The Gloucestershire outfit came from behind at their Whaddon Road home on Tuesday to gain a 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle.