Exeter manager Matt Taylor was delighted with the character shown by his team as they came from a goal down to beat Northampton 3-2 and move up to second in Sky Bet League Two.
The Grecians showed great spirit to recover from Charlie Goode’s spectacular half-volley, which put Cobblers in front.
Randell Williams scored a fine individual goal to level things up before Exeter took command after the break with thumping headers from Aaron Martin and Alex Fisher, but Sam Hoskins set up a tense finale with a superb individual goal of his own 10 minutes from time.
“The first half was probably too scrappy for my liking, we didn’t give ourselves any control, but in the second half we had control for a 25-minute spell and we got on top and scored our goals,” Taylor said.
“You have to do a certain aspect of football to gain control of any game and I just felt the first half was a bit messy, probably from both teams.
“They got the goal, but we got back in the game with a moment of quality and second half, that was more us. We were tough when we needed to be, we gave ourselves a platform to go and play and we knew there would be space on that pitch if we were able to do that.
“I was so pleased we managed to get two goals ahead because Northampton are a good team and they keep coming and coming at you and pegging you back, so that was so important.
“In the second half I thought we looked a really good team and we got two goals off the back of set pieces. You have to put the ball in the back of the net when you are on top – it is something we have spoken about so many times this season – but we did that today.”
Northampton would have gone above Exeter had they won and manager Keith Curle rued his side’s inability to take their chances.
“We were very competitive in the game, they are a good team with a decent record and we rattled them,” he said. We had a few chances and if we take those chances it could be a different story.
“You have to give them credit, they’ve got a good understanding of the way they want to play. They kept knocking at the door and got their reward with two balls into the box. We’ve got to defend our goal better than that.
“We got enough balls into the box and it just didn’t drop for us. We wobbled them and asked them questions. If we had got that second goal earlier it could have been a different story.
“There is an air of disappointment because we felt we did enough to get a minimum of a point.
“We won’t give up, the disappointing thing is that when we had them wobbled we needed to be a bit more clinical.”