It is often said that a win for a team in the doldrums could prove a catalyst for a change to a club’s fortunes, but the way City overcame the red card shown to skipper Jordan Moore-Taylor to eventually cruise to a 2-0 win at Stevenage on Saturday could not but give rise to optimism from those at the match as Paul Tisdale’s side looks to overcome its homesickness on Tuesday night. Moore-Taylor will miss the visit of Notts County having picked up a 1-match suspension for his professional foul, which may mean the rejigged back four who coped so well in his absence will continue in the role. This will leave a space further up the pitch which may be taken by Lee Holmes if he is considered fit enough for a full 90 as he continues his return from injury, while Tisdale has said David Wheeler may also be in contention to return at least to the bench. Reuben Reid and Robbie Simpson looked to work well together up front and may continue, assuming of course that Tisdale thinks Reid has enough in his legs after Saturday.
Off-field turmoil at Notts County, where the club last season looked a possibility for being dragged into the relegation dogfight, hasn’t swayed the Football League’s oldest club from making a decent start this season and under new boss John Sheridan they make the long trip to Devon on Tuesday buoyed by a 3-1 win over Leyton Orient that has seen them break into the top ten. Goals appear to be easy to come by at either end in their fixtures, the Magpies have yet to keep a clean sheet in any competition so far but have scored plenty too. Key to this has been the form of veteran Jon Stead, who has seven in nine so far, while Jonathon Forte has three.
It was City who had the upper hand in this fixture last season, taking four points. The corresponding fixture finished 1-1 – both goals in the first half as Tom Nichols’ strike was cancelled out by Liam Noble. The half time score was also 1-1 at Meadow Lane as Jayden Stockley and Izale McLeod scored, but City romped to a 4-1 win with second half goals from Jake Taylor, Christian Ribeiro and Ollie Watkins. It’s Notts County, however, who enjoy a healthy Football League head to head lead with 15 wins to City’s 8 (17 draws).
Match Day officials:
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referees: Simon Knapp and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official Matt Eva
Kevin has refereed three League games involving Exeter City, the most recent being the 4-0 win at St James Park over Leyton Orient. Details of those matches can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=%22Referee%3A+Kevin+Johnson%22