Rearguard display sets up unexpected victory
Saturday`s victory over Huddersfield was the scene of City`s first clean sheet in eight matches. A feat achieved thanks partly to the return of skipper Matt Taylor and an excellent display from Polish goal keeper Artur Krysiak .
Krysiak has recently forced his way into City`s first team taking the gloves from Paul Jones. After solid displays against Brighton, Bury, Plymouth and Notts County Krysiak turned in his finest performance to date at Huddersfield, confidently commanding his penalty area and making several crucial saves.
Conceding goals has been a problem this season for City, particularly from set pieces. An unbeaten home record recently came to a shuddering holt when Brentford struck four goals past an out of sorts Grecians defence.
But the emergence of Krysiak and the recent return of captain Taylor to the side seems to have given their team mates the lift they need. In particular, Taylor`s aerial ability has proved invaluable in the last two games. Against Huddersfield Taylor barely gave substitute target man Alan Lee a look in as City closed out a rare victory on the road.
Exeter struggled to score goals last season, only their respectable defensive record saved them from relegation. Summer striking recruits Jamie Cureton, Daniel Nardiello and John O`flynn and a reborn Richard Logan have seen City find the net over 30 times in the league this season.
The 3-52 system that Paul Tisdale has regularly deployed this term has seen 28 goals conceded from just 17 league games.
Unavailability has been a problem with the defence all season. Augusts game at Leyton Orient saw three defensive first-teamers missing through injuries and suspensions, a predictable defeat followed. Tisdale resisted the temptation to look into the loan market for a short term fix and his decision seems to have been justified as the evergreen Rob Edwards has turned in several impressive displays when called upon.
The introduction of Krysiak and Taylor has seen a marked improvement though. For first time this season City have competition for places all over the pitch and baring David Noble's current illness, have a fully fit squad.
The form of Krysiak and Taylor means that previous regular starters Paul Jones and Billy Jones were benched on Saturday and could be for some time. However, injuries and suspensions could once again disrupt City`s unsettled defensive personnel at any time.
Tisdale will be desperate for all players to stay clear of injury as City bid to climb the table starting with Oldham tonight.