Danny Coles: Fifth-straight away victory has given a real buzz to City camp
THERE'S a real buzz about the place right now. Another away win has put everyone on a high and left us with a heightened belief that we're genuine promotion contenders.
If only we can start winning a few more of our home games then I see no reason why we can't make a challenge for the title. I realise it's all too easy to say but, if we'd held out in either of the recent games against Plymouth or Barnet, we'd be in an automatic promotion spot right now, with second-placed Port Vale firmly in our sights.
It was great to secure a fifth successive away win at York on Saturday. I've been in the game a fair few years now but I can't recall having won five on the bounce before – even the likes of Man U and Chelsea don't do that too often.
Admittedly, we got a bit lucky when Alex Rodman put the ball into the back of his own net, with a finish Jamie Cureton would have been proud of, to give us the lead. However, come the final whistle, I thought we were good value for our 2-1 victory.
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It was entirely fitting that Jimmy Keohane got the winner; he's been immense over the last few weeks and, before Saturday, all that had been missing from his game was a goal so it was great to see him break his duck.
Jimmy's been a prolific scorer in the reserves and I'd be surprised if he didn't push on and get a few more between now and the end of the season.
Aside from Jimmy, John O'Flynn was, I thought, our other stand-out performer at Bootham Crescent; he chased everything and the York centre-halves didn't have a free header all day. It's a real shame he missed a chance at the death as a goal would have been just reward for another outstanding performance.
On the subject of outstanding performances, the 200-plus supporters who made the long haul from Exeter to York were phenomenal from start to finish.
We appreciate the effort involved – especially in these difficult economic times – and, once again, our thanks goes to each and every one of them.
I'm not expecting to see too many new faces at the Cat & Fiddle before the transfer window closes but competition for places can only be good and, with that in mind, we're delighted to have welcomed Myles Anderson to the club.
I can't pretend to know too much about Myles except that he's a left-back, who's just been released by Blackburn where, by all accounts, a few of the fans went out of their way to make life difficult for him. Myles seems like a good lad who, I'm sure, will get an altogether warmer welcome down here and, fingers crossed, can do well for us.
We've another opportunity to get our home form back on track when we entertain Southend on Saturday.
I heard talk of us staying in a hotel overnight and while I don't think that's going to happen now, Tis has mentioned the possibility of us meeting up somewhere out of town and travelling to the ground together. I don't know what difference it will make but as things stand we'll give anything a shot.
One things for sure, Southend are in a rich vein of form and will be hard to beat – I don't think there are too many stronger sides in the division. Then again, as our away form has shown, we're more than capable of beating anyone in League Two on our day and, fingers crossed, Saturday will be one of them. Our defeat at Roots Hall in September marked the start of a run of nine league games without a win and we'll be looking for a rather different result at the weekend – all the more so as a victory would ensure we stay at least fifth in the table and could even propel us into third.
A win against Paul Sturrock's in-form side would set us up nicely for Tuesday night's rearranged game with Torquay when, it goes without saying, we'll be pulling out all the stops to secure a sixth successive away win.
It's sure to be another difficult game but we'll have the support of a big contingent of Grecians supporters and, with their backing, I see no reason why we shouldn't inflict a fourth home defeat of the season on Martin Ling's side.
What's more, should we succeed in doing so, it should give us a big psychological advantage ahead of the home game which, as I'm sure you're aware by now, will take place in front of the Sky TV cameras on Monday, January 28.
In the meantime, I'll see you at the Park on Saturday when, with a little luck, we'll be able to put the frustrations of the last five months behind us and step our promotion challenge up a gear.