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Danny Coles: Clean sheet and Jake's display provide sunny outlook for City

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

Danny Coles

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I CAN'T deny it was disappointing to take just a single point from last week's two home games.

Having lost to Torquay, we were desperate to put things right against Aldershot but it simply wasn't to be.

I don't want to make excuses for our inability to win at St James's Park – we know all too well four wins from 16 isn't good enough – but an unfortunate combination of circumstances didn't help our cause on Saturday.

Firstly, while our groundsmen continue to do an outstanding job, nature is beginning to take its toll and just at the minute the playing surface at the Park isn't really conducive to the way we like to play football.

To make matters worse, the sun was beaming into our eyes throughout the first half and, unless you were out there, I think you'd find it hard to appreciate quite how much of a problem that presented.

I see Tis blamed me for losing the toss but it's the visiting skipper who gets to call so, once Ben Herd had called correctly, short of suggesting to the referee that he might like to make it best of three, there was precious little I could do about it.

Inevitably, once the Shots' skipper had won the toss it stood to reason he was going to ask us to kick into the sun.

On the plus side, we were delighted to keep another clean sheet; by my reckoning we've only conceded one goal in open play (against York on Saturday, January 5) in our six games so far this year.

Of course, we need to start scoring a few more but I'm sure that will come and if you can keep out the opposition you're going to give yourselves a good chance of winning any game.

Another positive from Saturday's game was the performance of Jake Gosling who, despite only coming on as a 78th-minute substitute, made another very positive contribution in the relatively short time he was on the pitch.

It was only Jake's second appearance for the first team but already he's beginning to look the part – not only has he got plenty of ability but he's a tough lad, who's been hardened up by his spell on loan at Dorchester earlier in the season, and from where I'm watching he has a really bright future in the game.

I was appalled to see WBA's Goran Popov spit at Tottenham's Kyle Walker in Sunday's televised Premier League game.

If there's one thing I detest it's spitting, I think it's an absolutely horrible thing to do and if it was down to me Popov would have the book thrown at him.

As it happens someone, who will remain nameless, spat at me recently; I wasn't too sure at the time if he'd done it deliberately but Pat Baldwin told me afterwards that there was no doubt about it. I'm glad I didn't realise that at the time as I wouldn't like to have been held responsible for my actions.

We make the long journey to Morecambe on Saturday, when we'll be looking to avenge that galling 3-0 defeat at St James's Park on the opening day of the season.

The Shrimps have continued in pretty good form since and having won away at Dagenham & Redbridge and York in recent weeks, to re-ignite their bid for the play-offs, they are sure to provide a stern test.

That said, we know we're more than capable of going to the Globe Stadium and getting a result and that's exactly what we have to do to ensure we don't slip outside the play-off places.

It's ridiculously tight in League Two at the minute, with just five points separating Cheltenham in third and Fleetwood in ninth, and that being the case it's imperative we get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

As you might or might not be aware, our next home game, against Accrington, takes place on a Friday night (February 15).

I mention this now, rather than waiting until next week's column, so that if you're one of those people who follows the team from afar but struggles for whatever reason to make it along to the Park on a Saturday afternoon – maybe you work or play football yourself – you've ample opportunity to contemplate making an all-too-rare visit to the home of Devon's No.1 football club.

It should also provide a great chance for any youngsters who struggle to make evening games because they have school the next day to experience the thrill of a game under the floodlights.

It goes without saying, a big crowd getting behind us can make all the difference so, if you are one of those supporters who struggles to make it to the Park on a Saturday, here's your opportunity to come along and help our push for promotion!

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