UNITED’S pre-season campaign stepped up a notch in the entertainment stakes with a tremendous 3-3 draw at Exeter on Tuesday night.
The home side raced into a two-goal lead with some defending which disappointed Yellow boss Martin Ling but his troops responded with a lovely lob from Lloyd Macklin and then Aaron Downes equalised just before half-time.
Billy Bodin thought he had scored the winner after the break but the Grecians levelled late on in a game that gave Martin more food for thought as the new season approaches.
“It was an entertaining game but we started slowly again by going two goals down,” he said. “The sharpness and reaction times to those goals were not great because both could have been stopped at source.
“The first goal was a great finish but we could have stopped it from getting there, and the second one was straight from a corner, which is disappointing.
“We came back with a great ball from Nathan Craig allowing Lloyd Macklin to expertly chip the ‘keeper. It was then another good ball from Nathan to set up Aaron Downes for the equaliser.
“The first half was satisfactory and then Billy did what he does, producing a little shimmy to create space and put the ball in the corner. We had a couple more chances after that with Niall Thompson hitting the post with a curling shot.
“Exeter grabbed the equaliser late but it was a fair result and honours even in a Devon derby that had nothing like the intensity we expect in the league.
“There were good performances on our side. Nathan Craig played really well, Lloyd Macklin was very good again and the defensive partnership of Downes and Brian Saah looked solid, even though they scored three goals – none were down to those two. Tom Cruise also looked good at both left-back and right-back.”