A run of three tough fixtures in a week saw City take a single point which not only allowed the chasing pack but dump Matt Taylor’s side out of the automatic promotion places. Saturday’s fixture therefore takes on extra significance at both ends of the table as City embark on a week of three fixtures against sides battling it out at or near the bottom. City’s squad suddenly looked a bit threadbare at Swindon last week with Jonny Maxted before the match and Jake Taylor early on having to be withdrawn, and Matt Taylor will be hoping both key players are fit to return. Lee Holmes started the midweek win over Portsmouth in the U23 Cup as he continues his return from long-term injury and the veteran winger will hope to feature from the bench at some point.
It’s unlikely Stevenage thought they’d be in a relegation battle, but just three wins from 31 fixtures tells its own story as the Hertfordshire side make the long trip to Devon for the second time in a couple of weeks four points adrift of resurgent Morecambe at the foot of the table. In desperation Boro turned once again to Graham Westley, but the colourful manager hasn’t been able to turn the tide as yet with the 4-0 win at Cambridge sticking out like a sore thumb as his only league victory so far. In all 39 players have been used as Westley goes in search of the winning formula, with much expected of January signing Simeon Jackson, the Canadian international is yet to open his account. Their leading scorer this season, Kurtis Guthrie, departed for Bradford on deadline day.
The recent visit of Stevenage was in the EFL Trophy where a reshuffled City side still had too much in the tank for a full-strength Stevenage, Ajose and a Jay brace sealing a 3-0 win to book City’s televised semi final against Portsmouth. It was a tighter affair right back in the second fixture of the season where a late Nicky Law effort sealed the points. It was the same scoreline – Dean Moxey the scorer this time – when Boro last visited City in the league last season. Those wins extended City’s league head to head lead with nine wins to Stevenage’s five, nine matches finishing level. Details of Exeter’s encounters wit Stevenage can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9507
The match officials for the game are:
Referee: Ollie Yates
Assistant Referee: John Flynn and Christopher Wade
Fourth Official : Richard Morris
Ollie Yates has refereed four Exeter games including two away games at Stevenage. Details at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=ollie+yates