Next Up: Exeter City vs Oxford United Part II
When City were due to play Oxford at the start of the month it was on the back of three straight wins. Instead City need to pick themselves up from a run of three games without a win for the replayed match which takes on a special meaning being as it’s Paul Tisdale’s 500th competitive fixture in charge. The City supporters made their feelings about Tisdale’s constant chopping and changing of the line-up known on Saturday against Newport with the Red Legion remaining quiet for the first 15 minutes, while Tisdale himself seemed more animated than usual, a sign that he was not happy with what he was seeing. With several changes having been made to the line-ups in recent fixtures it’s currently anyone’s guess who will start against Oxford – Christian Ribeiro may not have made it back in time from the knock he picked up against York so Arron Davies or Tom McCready are likely to deputise, while David Noble has remained sidelined having been touted for a return a couple of weeks ago.
Oxford remain firmly ensconced in the automatic promotion spots but their form has taken a noticeable downward dip since a win at Portsmouth a month ago with four defeats in their last six in all competitions, their only win being when they took advantage of Morecambe going down to 10 men at 1-1, eventually prevailing 4-2. Defeat at home to 10-man Accrington on Saturday left them just three points ahead of Stanley, who have two games in hand, leaving promotion out of Michael Appleton’s hands. Tuesday night’s match, while naturally overshadowed by the hype around Paul Tisdale’s 500th match in charge, marks the first return to the Park for Liam Sercombe. Sercombe will naturally be one to watch having discovered the ability to find the net regularly, something which was perhaps one area of frustration for City supporters, although he hasn’t found the net since a penalty in the stunning 3-2 win over Swansea in the FA Cup. Kemar Roofe, however, does continue to score frequently and has 19 in all competitions so far.
The reverse fixture on Boxing Day saw City perhaps edge an even first half, although City will point to the referee’s failure to issue a red card to Chey Dunkley on half time for a crude challenge when he’d already been booked as a turning point. Dunkley was unsurprisingly withdrawn at half time and after a stunning goal from John Lundstram Oxford looked a different side, eventually cruising to a 3-0 win with further goals from Baldock and, naturally, Sercombe. City do, however, have an excellent record against the Us in league fixtures with 15 wins to Oxford’s 8 (14 draws).
Tonight’s match officials:-
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistant Referee: Ronald Ganfield and Robert Dabbs
Fourth Official Mark Pottage
He’s taken charge of 15 Exeter games, see here for details.
Match details from last season’s match at the Park, here.
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