Exeter manager Matt Taylor felt a final day 1-1 draw at home to Barrow was a reflection of their season as they did not do enough to give themselves a chance of making the play-offs.
Exeter looked to be on course at half-time after Matt Jay – who swept the board with the player of the year awards post-match – slotted home his 20th goal of the season on 26 minutes.
Barrow equalised on 57 minutes when Tom Beadling scrambled home from a corner and news then filtered through of goals elsewhere, which ruined any hopes of the Grecians finishing in the top seven even had they gone on to win.
“It’s raw at this moment in time,” Taylor said. “We were slightly short in terms of the game today and slightly short in terms of Christmas onwards.
“This season proved too much in relation to some of the performances and some of the players in the squad. We were a little bit thin to begin with and reliant on certain personnel, so I have no qualms in relation to that. It’s just disappointing because you go into this game thinking you’ve got a chance.
“As it turned out, results didn’t go our way elsewhere so it was irrelevant in terms of what we did, but we needed to win that game no matter what and we couldn’t do that today.
“Interestingly enough, in terms of the votes for our player of the season, the bulk of the votes were for our young players – MJ, Josh Key, Joel Randall and Jokull (Andresson) who is a 19-year-old goalkeeper, so that shows what this season was about in terms of blooding the young players.
“Credit to them, but some of the senior ones just fell short.”
Barrow were fair opponents for a game that had nothing riding on it for them and their manager Rob Kelly said: “We deserved a point. That epitomised what we have been like since I have been at the club.
“The commitment was there, this was no dead rubber and we didn’t take anything for granted.
“We had chance to refresh this week and you could see the way we went about it. We had professional duty to our club, the supporters and ourselves.
“We couldn’t guarantee the result but we wanted to guaranteed the level of performance and commitment against a very good team.
“It was always going to be a tight game, nervy for them. It was a long journey down for us and the pitch was really good.
“We deserved a positive result at Exeter who are battling for the play-offs and being up there all season is a good outcome for us.”