Exeter manager Matt Taylor was delighted to get through to the second round of the FA Cup as his side overcame Cambridge United 1-0 in a replay at St James Park.
Alex Fisher smashed in the only goal of a dour game after 71 minutes, turning in from close range from substitute Ben Seymour’s low cross, but it was no more than Exeter deserved with Cambridge failing to register a shot on target all night.
City can now look forward to a home clash against National League side Hartlepool United on Sunday, December 1 which gives them a great chance of securing a place in the potentially lucrative third round.
“I am delighted to get through. That could have been a difficult night tonight, but sometimes you need something to ignite yourselves and the fans and I thought our substitutions did that in the second half,” he said.
“Maybe it is a sign of respect that opposition teams are showing us at the moment. It is not easy to break a team down with so many bodies behind the ball and when they are so deep, the space just isn’t there and maybe we aren’t good enough at times to break that down.
“It certainly isn’t for the want of trying. Those players have given everything they possibly could, so I was delighted with the impact those boys made and we were the only team trying to win that game.
“The goal was a moment of quality. We had fresh legs in terms of Ben Seymour and it was the only time we really got behind their backline because there just wasn’t the space to do so. I was delighted with the impact those boys made and delighted for Fish to get his goal.
“I would ask that the fans really stick by us in those moments. It was a really testing time and the questions have to be answered, but I thought we did that tonight.”
Cambridge boss Colin Calderwood was without nine players for the trip to Devon but felt his side could have been better.
“We didn’t have enough of those moments where we were able to create anything of any reasonable quality,” he said.
“There was two or three moments in the first half but in the second half everything came from so deep in our half and we didn’t really trouble their keeper at all.
“Within those moments I would have to say if we can’t defend that goal then we are in real trouble. That is nonsense. Everyone is in their shape and position and it can’t go in, but it does.
“We were waiting for a moment of inspiration and we didn’t get it. They got on top and became a bit more dangerous and the team with the greater attacking quality has won the game.”