Danny Coles: Great to see Gosling score and to get revenge on Shoe Army
DEADLINES dictate I'm writing this column before the Bristol Rovers game so you'll forgive me for not making much mention of our clash with my former club.
Fingers crossed by the time you read this we'll have another three points in the bag.
Certainly, if we perform as well as we did against Northampton on Saturday then there's no reason whatsoever why we shouldn't have recorded a 12th away win of the season at the Memorial Ground – here's hoping!
I said last week that we would be looking for payback against the Shoe Army – with Aidy Boothroyd's side having beaten us 3-0 at Sixfields earlier in the season – and that's just what we got.
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We had to adjust our style a bit to deal with the visitors' physical threat, but we went into the game with a plan and, if I say so myself, executed it to perfection.
Admittedly, we rode our luck on a couple of occasions but that's the nature of the game and, ultimately, I thought we were good value for our 3-0 win and could easily have won by more with Jamie Cureton, in particular, going close to adding to his glancing 59th-minute header on a number of occasions.
Good as it was to see Jamie on the scoresheet, it was even more satisfying to see young Jake Gosling grab his first senior goal with a fine solo effort in front of the Big Bank.
Gos, who's just 19, played the remaining seven or eight minutes with a grin of Tully-esque proportions on his face and who can blame him!
He's had a fantastic season already, returning from a loan spell at Dorchester – where he scored the goal that knocked that side down the road out of the FA Cup on live TV – to kick on and earn a place in the first team.
It tells you something about Jake that despite his inexperience Tis has had no qualms whatsoever about keeping him on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes in both of the games he's started.
Artur Krysiak has been around a good bit longer than Gos and it's easy to forget he's still a relative youngster himself. At just 23, Artur has plenty of improvement left in him but, be that as it may, his form over recent weeks has been quite exceptional; by my reckoning the last time he was beaten from open play was against York on January 5, since then he's conceded only two goals – penalties from Torquay's Rene Howe in the game at Plainmoor in mid-January and the return at St James's Park a fortnight later – in almost 800 minutes. Another player who has been at the peak of his powers in recent weeks is Tommy Doherty.
While it pains me to heap too much praise on Tommo, it's hard to deny he's been a class apart over the course of the last five or six games and for my money the combination of him, Matt Oakley and Scot Bennett in the centre of midfield is as good as any in League Two.
We've got a long journey at the weekend when we travel to Fleetwood; having never been there before I don't pretend to know exactly how far it is or quite how long it might take us to get there, but one look at a map was enough to tell me it's gonna be a journey and a half.
At the same time, I've no doubt we can look forward to the usual great support we get away from home and I take my hat off in advance to all those who make the marathon journey.
Rest assured, it's much appreciated by the management and all of the players and we'll be doing our utmost to ensure the return trip passes quickly.
Having made the long haul to Lancashire and back at the weekend, we've little time to rest on our laurels before League Two leaders Gillingham are the visitors to the Park on Tuesday, February 12.
It will be a big ask little more than 72 hours after the Fleetwood game but, touch wood, our record in midweek matches has been pretty decent so far this season.
I reckon this is due in no small part to the level of fitness in the squad, which ensures we are well equipped to play two games in quick succession.
What's more, it helps no end that Tis and the coaching staff are so adept at knowing when there's more to be gained from giving us a break than pushing us on the training pitch.
Having beaten Martin Allen's side by the odd goal in five at the Priestfield Stadium back in November, we know that they'll provide us with a stern test but one which we're more than capable of passing.
It goes without saying, we'll happily take all the help we can get and, with that in mind, I'd encourage everyone with a little bit of Exeter City in their heart to get along to the Park on Tuesday evening and roar us to victory against the top-of-the-table side!