sport

Tisdale upbeat despite defeat

Exeter manager Paul Tisdale had nothing but praise for his side after they fell to a late 1-0 defeat at Northampton on Saturday.

City have endured a difficult start to the campaign, missing several key players through injury and working under a transfer embargo. But Tisdale is keeping faith with his side.

Meanwhile, the Cobblers are making a habit of scoring late goals and Marc Richards grabbed the only goal of the game in the 89th minute with a superb overhead kick.

But it was substitute Ivan Toney who turned the game the way of the hosts. He had a big influence on the game - being denied by the woodwork before creating late chances for his team.

Tisdale said: "We just fell short at the end of the game but I've been really pleased with the commitment in the last couple of games.

"It was disappointing to concede so late on. We expected to have to deal with long throws from Ben Tozer at some stage in the game but we didn't deal with it.

"Of course I'm desperate to get that first win but there's no reason to be too upset at the moment, it's a long season. It was always going to be a difficult month for us, not being able to make signings, so the odds were stacked against us.

"The injuries haven't helped us and we're down to the bare bones, I'm having to make changes through weakness rather than through strength, and that's not a great place for a manager to be. I'm hoping to get in another three, four or maybe five players before the game with Oxford.

"We badly need some senior players back from injury, ones who are combative and who can add to our play - which I'm very happy with."

Northampton assistant manager Alan Knill admitted his side had not been at their best but was happy to get all three points.

He said: "Credit to the players, it was a tough game and to be honest we didn't think we played anywhere near what we can play like in the first half.

"But that gives us eight points for the month and considering the opposition that we've played, we think that's quite a good return.

"Exeter made it difficult for us but we have to overcome that and in the second half we took the game to them with our play. We've got a habit of scoring goals right at the end and we would like it to be more comfortable but it's about getting the result.

"But really the game should have been over with the amount of chances we had before Marc Richards scored. Our tempo and our belief need to be better. We looked a bit like we were waiting for something to happen rather than going and making it happen."