EXETER CITY boss Matt Taylor insists the loss of top scorer Jayden Stockley was the catalyst to his side missing out on the play-offs.

Heartbroken City missed the chance to claim a play-off place as their inability to score at Forest Green Rovers cost them a top seven finish as the game finished 0-0.

But Taylor bemoaned the loss of Stockley to Preston in January.

"I can't criticise them too much, it's just that little bit of quality (we were missing) in the final third. But we have to be honest, we lost our goalscorer (Jayden Stockley) in January, who was on 16."

Taylor felt his side should have put the game to bed at Forest Green by half-time.

He said: "It wasn't to be and I am not sure we could have created any more chances in that first period.

"The structure and the attitude of the players was brilliant and we just went at the game. We attacked and pinched the ball high up the pitch  and created a number of chances, you just want one to go in the back of the net.

"The second half was a little bit more difficult against the wind and we had to open ourselves up, we knew that, but it just wouldn't fall for us.

"I don't want it to be said that it wasn't our day because it is throughout the whole season. You know yourself I have had gripes at times throughout the season about our effectiveness in both penalty boxes, which is League Two football.

"I just feel we have left too many points out there over the course of the season, but that's probably where we are as a team.

"The players have been excellent or me since Christmas and not many of these top seven teams will have lost their goals out of the team."