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Matt Taylor happy to see Exeter take it to ‘another level’ against Colchester

Matt Taylor was delighted with his team against Colchester (Mark Kerton/PA)
Matt Taylor was delighted with his team against Colchester (Mark Kerton/PA)

Exeter manager Matt Taylor hailed his side for taking their performance to “another level” against Colchester as a 2-0 victory took them a step closer to promotion from Sky Bet League Two.

Jack Sparkes opened the scoring on 32 minutes and on-loan striker Offrande Zanzala added a second, finishing off an excellent team move to seal the victory.

It was a win that could easily have been by a far bigger scoreline, with Colchester goalkeeper Shamal George making a number of outstanding saves to keep the score down.

“I thought we performed really well last week (winning 1-0 at Carlisle) but that was another level on,” Taylor said. “Their goalkeeper was man of the match – again – and we created numerous good chances, but also totally nullified any threat from the opposition and they have some good players.

“We have seen their quality numerous times but we didn’t even keep them at arm’s length, we kept them well away from our goal for the majority of that game and when the opposition goalkeeper gets man of the match, that suggests the team has performed pretty well.

“I thought Josh Key was outstanding and they have a good understanding down that side but it was Jacko that got the goal.

“The only setback today is the injury to Alex (Hartridge) but we want to penetrate down the right, down the left and through the middle and I felt that was one of the better collective team displays.

“The biggest pleasing factor was how they controlled the game and managed the occasion. It’s the first time we have sold out the stadium for a few years, partly due to Covid of course, but we have a lot of young players and they controlled the game, managed the expectations and managed their emotions really well.”

Colchester coach Joe Dunne admitted his side were outclassed and felt the Grecians had been at their best.

“I can’t complain about the result but I can complain against the performance,” he said. “I am disappointed with how we played today.

“Obviously they are a top side but we came off our game a bit and I think we paid them too much respect at times and as the game went on, it was just a case of trying to stay in it.

“Exeter really turned it on and brought their A-game really and we didn’t, so in terms of that, it was disappointing.

“We tried to gain confidence from the fact that other top teams we have played against, we have put in some really good performances and we felt we could come here and match that.

“We knew the situation with Exeter going for promotion, the sell-out and there was a party atmosphere if you like… but we came away from a lot of things that we did well in previous games.”

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