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Feature

Season Preview: Exeter City

21 July 2019

We continue our 2019/20 season preview by featuring our opening day opponents, Exeter City -

Nickname : The Grecians

Stadium : St James' Park

Capacity : 8,541

Round Trip From The Moss Rose : 446.8 miles

Last Season : 9th

The post-Paul Tisdale era in Devon promised much for a large part of last season, with The Grecians looking a solid bet for at least a play-off place.

Indeed, during the early part of the season in particular, Matt Taylor would have been forgiven for thinking that an automatic promotion spot was firmly within reach.

Ultimately, Exeter would finish in ninth spot - a point behind Newport County who claimed the last play-off place.

There is little doubt that Exeter will be a dangerous force again this time around and will almost certainly be challenging for a League One return yet again.

 

The Gaffer - Matt Taylor

Matt was appointed as manager of Exeter City on 1st June 2018, following the departure of long-serving boss Paul Tisdale.

He had previously made more than one hundred and fifty appearances for The Grecians as a player and was already a popular figure among the St James Park faithful prior to his appointment.

Matt started his playing career off at non-league Burscough as a goalkeeper and helped The Linnets to a glorious FA Trophy win over Tamworth during the 2002/03 season.

He spent a number of years at non-league level, before getting his break at Exeter City in 2007, where he helped the Devon side earn promotion during his first season at the club.

Matt made forty-six appearances at the centre of defence during that historic campaign and scored a respectable nine goals in the process.

Taylor then played a crucial role the following season, as The Grecians secured to back-to-back promotions to ascend to League One and he featured heavily for City in the third tier of English football before moving to Charlton the following summer.

A subsequent move to Cheltenham Town ensued, before Matt returned to Exeter in the autumn of 2016 as a defensive coach.

During the 2017/18 season, Matt took control of the club's under 23 side and led the youngsters to a successful Premier League Cup campaign.

The Grecians managed to top a group which included under 23 sides from Brighton & Hove Albion, Hull City and Sunderland, before being knocked out by at the quarter-final stage by Wolverhampton Wanderers,

 

 

Transfer Dealings.

Out - James Hamon, Luke Croll, Jimmy Oates, Felix Norman, Max Smallcombe, Hiram Boateng, Christy Pym

In - Nigel Atangana, Tom Parkes, Lewis Ward, Alex Fisher, Gary Warren, Jonny Maxted, Nicky Ajose, Robbie Cundy (loan), Noah Smerdon

 

Our Last Meeting.

After the original fixture was postponed, The Grecians made the long trip up to the Moss Rose on 9th April looking to get their play-off bid back on track.

They faced a Silkmen side who were fighting for their EFL lives and as such, the match developed into a pulsating affair which will long live in the memory of all those that attended.

The play-off chasing Grecians would take a 27th minute lead, when Lee Martin's cross was headed home by the lively Jordan Bowery.

Macc would hit back almost instantly however, as Harry Smith tenaciously positioned himself in the perfect location to divert Ben Stephens' tantalising cross into the back of the net.

Yet parity was to last just four minutes, before Bowery grabbed his second of the game to restore Exeter's lead.

The hosts fought back in dramatic style and after falling behind for the second time, set their sights on securing the victory which would see them ascend out of the relegation zone for the first time since mid-August.

Deep into first-half injury-time, skipper Nathan Cameron was bundled over in the area and Michael Rose nonchalantly despatched the resultant penalty to equalise once more.

There was little doubt that the strike injected a fresh wave of defiance throughout the Moss Rose and this manifested itself in the copious amounts of pressure that the team placed on the Exeter goal after the interval.

Our reward came five minutes from time, as Elliott Durrell's cross was inadvertently directed into the back of the net by Troy Brown.

This sparked memorable scenes, as Sol Campbell's men completed an inspired victory which played a pivotal role in our ultimate survival.

 

Our Next Meetings.

Home - Saturday 15th February

Away - Saturday 3rd August


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