City’s promotion hopes took a massive dent on Saturday with defeat at struggling Morecambe, and Paul Tisdale will need to pick his troops up ahead of another trip up the M6 on Tuesday night when they take on another side looking over their shoulder at the bottom. There seems to be a lack of creative spark currently which has seen City score just six goals in their last eight matches, and Tisdale knows this is something that urgently needs to be addressed. Kyle Edwards started on Saturday, and he may retain his place albeit on the wing if Tisdale decides to alter the shape of the side, with either Matt Jay or Liam McAlinden likely to come on alongside Jayden Stockley up front. Elsewhere Jordan Tillson may start after being dropped to the bench on Saturday.
Port Vale, without a win since they thrashed high-flying Luton 4-0 at the end of December, have become something of draw specialists with their last four matches having finished level – their comeback from 2-0 down against Stevenage on Saturday costing Stevenage manager Darren Sarll his job. Neil Aspin’s side have a seven point cushion currently but the Valiants know they need to record at least a couple of victories to firm up their league status. An injury to top scorer Tom Pope was a massive blow given he has contributed over a third of their league goals so far this season, and it has meant that others like Christian Montano have had to stand and be counted.
The reverse fixture saw Port Vale shock City 1-0 through Pope back in October. The last time City made the trip to Vale Park was in the 2012/13 season, when City won 2-0 against a Vale side heading for promotion thanks to goals from Cureton and Coles, before Mark Molesley saw red late on. Port Vale have the edge in league head to heads with 20 wins to City’s 15, while 10 matches have finished level.
Head to head results for the last 20 years can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9096
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Assistant Referees: Nik Barnard and Ronald Ganfield
Fourth Official: Ravel Cheosiaua
Dean has refereed 13 Exeter matches. Details of those matches can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=whitestone