Tisdale needed help from his players in Dons win over Exeter

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

Emotions were riding high for Paul Tisdale when he took on - and beat - his former club Exeter City 1-0 at Stadium MK.

Tisdale spent 12 years at St James Park before leaving in the summer for pastures new at Stadium MK, and the match itself had all the trials and tribulations you'd expect.

Dons were awarded two penalties for almost identical handballs - one which saw Dean Moxey sent off, and one which almost saw Jordan Stockley sent off too, only for referee Charles Breakspear to rescind it, having not booked him earlier. Agard would miss the first spot kick though, bringing a super save from keeper Christy Pym, before lashing home the second 11 minutes later for the only goal of the game.

The win kept Dons undefeated in League 2 this season, while ending the Grecians' unbeaten start too.

But for Tisdale, it was a strange game to be in charge of.

"It was really odd today," he said. "I asked the players for some help today - it's usually me helping them, but today they had to help me relax into the game. They did that. I am glad it's over, but football is relentless. It's over now, and on to the next game."

His Dons side started calmly and grew into the game, very much the better side from the half hour mark and into the second period. Agard's first missed penalty on 55 minutes was made up for 11 minutes later, while the impressive Baily Cargill helped keep the fourth clean sheet of the season.

Tisdale continued: "A 1-0 win, three points, clean sheet, on to the next. I don't want to look through rose-tinted glasses but I felt we were very solid, considered and sensible when we had to be. I think it's something I spoke about when I got here and today was a step forward.

"Lee (Nicholls) didn't have to make a meaningful save. We were very pragmatic. As the game went on, teh red card tipped the balance but we were becoming more dominant."