It’s fair to say that given City’s start to the season, especially at home, alongside the injury crisis that seems to show no signs of abating, that the impending Devon Derby has been viewed with some trepidation bordering on downright fear. However, the mood has been lifted somewhat by the signing of ex-Pilgrim Reuben Reid, a player who has made a lasting impact on this fixture while wearing a green shirt and will hope to do the same in a red one. How much of a part Reid will play on Saturday, however, depends on whether Paul Tisdale considers him ready for action having not played since his substitute appearance at Wembley in May’s League Two playoff final. Other players hoping to return, albeit likely only ready for the bench, are David Wheeler and possibly Lee Holmes, while Luke Croll will return from illness to make his home debut against a side he spent some time with on loan last season.
After a nightmare start where they lost their first three games (including to Reading in the EFL Cup), the playoff defeat hangover appears to have been shaken off with six straight wins in all competitions for Derek Adams’ side. The latest of those wins was a 2-1 victory over surprise bottom side Cambridge, critics may point to their wins as having all been against sides they perhaps “ought” to beat – and of course form goes out of the window at Devon Derby time. In keeping with last season where Adams fielded a large number of players they have used 21 in all competitions already including several new signing. David Goodwillie is trying again in England – a prolific scorer north of the border his previous foray into the English game was unsuccessful, and to date he has yet to find the net this season. One summer signing was one time City trainee David Fox, the son of former City manager Peter having joined from Crewe. Graham Carey currently heads the scoring charts with 3.
Local bragging rights are vital when two great rivals meet, and City have been able to bask in the glory of having taken a full six points from the fixture last season with two 2-1 victories. The corresponding fixture last season saw Plymouth take the lead through Jamille Matt, only for Ollie Watkins to write his name into City folklore with a stunning late double. The match at Home Park saw City go 2-0 up through a brace from Ryan Harley (one from the spot) before Oscar Threlkeld reduced the arrears in the second half. Plymouth enjoy a healthy league head to head lead with 27 wins to City’s 19 (20 draws).
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Assistant Referees: Kevin Morris and Steven Plane
Fourth Official: Adam Matthews
Dean had refereed seven Exeter games, the most recent being the 2-0 win away to Stevenage last season. Details of the seven games he’s officiated can be found here.
Information on last season’s game can be read at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4073
Don’t forget the kick off is at an earlier time of 1pm.