It may have been in a much-derided competition, but Matt Taylor will have been mightily relieved to see his charges record a first victory in six matches with Tuesday night’s 2-0 EFL Trophy win over League One Bristol Rovers. With one or two of the walking wounded either fit to return or close to fitness there is better news off the pitch too – loanee Chiedozie Ogbene started on Tuesday night following his injury picked up just after coming off the bench against Swindon, while it’s thought the likes of Lee Holmes and Lee Martin could be close to a return. Definitely missing is Dean Moxey, who sits out the second of his two match ban for his red card at Tranmere.
Northampton started life back in the basement poorly, costing Dean Austin his job, and his replacement was Keith Curle, who has seen an upturn in league form with three successive wins to move the Cobblers up into 16th place in the table. Curle has a strong squad, despite Northampton’s off-field problems in recent years, at his disposal, which made Northampton’s poor start look all the worse. Kevin Van Veen was signed from Scunthorpe and leads the charts with seven goals in all competitions, while there is plenty of experience with the likes of John-Joe O’Toole, Andy Williams and Dean Bowditch to call upon.
City will have to do a lot better on Saturday than in recent matches against Northampton if they are to get anything – the last four matches between the sides have seen City pick up just one point and they failed to score in all four. That point came in the last meeting in 2016 as Northampton celebrated promotion with a 0-0 draw at the Park, having despatched City 3-0 (Taylor, Cresswell, Richards) back at the start of the season. Northampton also hold a strong league head to head lead, with 47 wins to City’s 28, 29 matches finishing level. Head to head details for the last 17 games can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9878
The match officials will be:-
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referees: Simon Shaw and Chris Wade
Fourth Official: Mark Russell
Kevin Johnson has taken charge of 12 Exeter game, the most recent game being Tuesday night’s game against Bristol Rovers. All his Exeter games can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=kevin+johnson