Exeter manager Matt Taylor admitted that his team were fortunate to beat Sutton, but was delighted his tactical change had the desired effect as the Grecians recorded a 2-0 victory.
The away side dominated for the first hour and missed several clear-cut chances as Exeter’s goal led a charmed life.
But when Taylor switched to a flat back four, Sam Nombe’s shot was turned in by defender Ben Goodliffe for an unfortunate own goal before Nombe bagged his first goal for the club six minutes from time.
“There are different ways to win a game of football and sometimes you need a bit of luck,” Taylor said. “You always need a lot of heart, which we showed a lot of today, and then a bit of quality came through at the end.
“We rode our luck and they had the chances. We rode our luck because they pushed us back to where we didn’t want to be and we couldn’t quite get out and had no real service or threat about us.
“It was important that we addressed a few things at half-time and then again at the start of the second half because we needed to. Sometimes you need to change things when it’s not working and we had waited long enough.”
On Nombe, the City boss added: “The first one was an own goal I think but people will see his name on the score sheet and we will also see his performances. He is only going to get better.
“That was only his third or fourth start for us and he is a young kid that is still learning, but he has a physicality that frightens the life out of centre halves. We have to earn the right to play and give him that service.”
Sutton boss Matt Gray said: “We were outstanding in the first half, they had one break on us and the keeper made a good save but that was the only time they really got into our half.
“We were on the front foot and had many different opportunities to score. We were a threat from set-pieces and Donovan (Wilson) has hit the bar. You can go on and on about the amount of chances we had and not to be in the lead at half-time was very hard to take.
“I thought the second half was as dominant up until the goal. Richie (Bennett) has been outstanding since he started with us, he got his two goals a week ago and certainly deserved one or two today.
“We had headers cleared off the line, looked a constant threat all day and we really quietened the crowd down and they scored against the run of play.”
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