Exeter City fans must show patience when Grecians play at home
Any supporter would be thrilled to see their team towards the top of the table, but while Exeter City's fine start to the campaign will have delighted many, it does bring about a different kind of challenge.
Before a ball had been kicked this year, bookmakers predicted City to be mid-table also-rans, at best. Odds of winning the league outright reached as far as 30-1, while many sceptical supporters would have been happy with mid-table, a cup run and, of course, a couple of derby wins against Argyle and Torquay.
But five games in and with Exeter lying in second place, scoring goals and playing well, that expectation is changing. The challenge for Paul Tisdale and his players is managing that expectation, especially on home soil.
So far, City have played two league games at St James' Park with differing fortunes. The first was that bizarre 3-0 loss to Morecambe, who won courtesy of three gifts from a charitable City side. When they returned to the Park and faced Burton Albion, they did so off the back of two excellent away wins at Aldershot and Accrington.
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You could feel the sense of expectation stemming from the stands and you could also feel a sense of anxiety left over from the Morecambe game. Any misplaced pass early on was greeted with groans from the home fans, who were as desperate to see an improvement in performance against Burton as the players were to give one.
Ultimately, the lads did well and won 3-0. The scoreline was perhaps more flattering than the result suggests, but it was a good way in which to win back the doubters that were so quick to write City off after that opening day loss.
Today, City will look to make it five straight league wins against York, who themselves have made a good start to the season.
The Minstermen, who include former City favourite Jon Challinor in their ranks, are back in the Football League after an eight-year exile and the start they have made is not too dissimilar to that made by Exeter on their own return.
After an opening day loss, York have won two and drawn two of their subsequent four matches and lie in eighth. They are still riding the crest of a promotion wave after winning the Conference play-offs last season, so today's match is by no means going to be easy.
We all want to see a City win, but the important thing is that the team get the support they need and deserve. It may take a while for a goal to come, but the important thing is that the fans stick by the team and try to avoid the kind of anxiety that is often felt at home games.