City showed all their fighting spirit at Cambridge last Saturday, coming from behind twice before snatching a 3-2 win late on to record their fourth win in five matches (three of those comeback wins). It was a red letter day particularly for Matt Jay, the diminutive striker finally scoring his first league goal, while Jayden Stockley made it to 20 goals in all competitions. With Robbie Simpson limping off at the break with a dead leg Paul Tisdale will hope he has recovered in time, otherwise Jay could be in line for a start unless Tisdale decides to bolster his side elsewhere with the likes of Kane Wilson or, fitness depending, Ryan Harley.
To keep their promotion chase on track, City will need to do something only one team (Barnet!) has managed to do since January and that is to prevent Accrington from winning. Indeed, since a Boxing Day defeat at Carlisle, John Coleman’s side’s record is incredible – played 17, won 15, drawn 1, lost 1. Six of their last eight victories have been 1-0, displaying admirable meanness, as Stanley look to gain promotion to the third tier for the first time in their history. Indeed, should the hosts win on Saturday it will guarantee their promotion, so City will be looking to spoil the promotion party as well as keeping their own hopes very much alive. As always the key man (if you’ll pardon the pun) is Billy Kee, the one time City target having notched 23 in all competitions, aided by Kayden Jackson (14) and Sean McConville (11). At the other end the experienced Mark Hughes will rally the troops as they look to keep yet another clean sheet.
There was little sign of Accrington’s formidable form to come when they visited the Park in November, as goals from Hiram Boateng and Pierce Sweeney (penalty) secured a comfortable 2-0 win. City were successful on their last visit to the Crown Ground too, goals from Ryan Harley and Jake Taylor either side of an equaliser from former Grecian Arron Davies in a mad six minute spell clinching the points. City have the lead in league head to heads with 11 wins to Accrington’s 7, with just one draw to date.
Full head to head details between the two clubs can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9252
Referee: Oliver Langford
Assistant Referees: Robert Merchant and Mark Dwyer
Fourth Official: Anthony Backhouse
Oliver Langford will be a familiar face for Exeter fans, as he’s taken charge of 20 City games going back to February 2006 in the Conference (against York).