After a little mid-season break, City return to a fairly local (in relative terms) old foe on Saturday looking to build on four points and two clean sheets from their last two matches. The week off will hopefully have given some of City’s walking wounded some respite to enable a return to action – Lee Holmes is one player in particular who will be looking to return following his concussion suffered at Carlisle, while Ryan Harley’s name appeared on the team sheet against Luton and the midfielder will be pushing for a return, as will Joel Grant. Jordan Tillson has also featured in the Reserves of late and will soon be pressing for a recall.
Having made an impressive return to the Football League at the first attempt, Gary Johnson’s Cheltenham side have found the going tough this season and currently sit two places and two points behind City in the relegation zone. The Robins haven’t tasted victory in the league since a 1-0 win at fellow returnees Grimsby in late October, while they were on the end of a “giant killing” in the FA Cup last weekend going down 2-1 to a Sutton side containing former Grecian Kevin Amankwaah. One reason for their malaise could lie at Danny Wright’s door – the striker enjoyed a prolific season in helping Cheltenham to the National League title but has notched just three in the league so far this season. Billy Waters, with eight in all competitions, is probably therefore the player to watch, while beanpole midfielder Harry Pell is always a handful.
For a long time Cheltenham were City’s ultimate bogey side, recording wins in the first nine competitive fixtures between the sides. However, a draw in 2014 arrested this jinx and City finally recorded victories home and away in the 2014/15 season that ultimately saw Cheltenham relegated. The corresponding fixture finished 2-1 to City, the visitors going 2-0 up through Nichols and Cummins before a late Jordan Moore-Taylor OG ensured a nervy finish. Earlier in the season, on Boxing Day, City had finally recorded that first win, a solitary Tom Nichols goals giving City the points. Therefore the head to head record between the sides is Cheltenham with nine wins, City with two and one draw.
The match officials will be:-
Referee: Darren England
Assistant Referees: Adam Crysell and Paul Hobday
Fourth Official Andrew Newbold
He’s refereed just the one Exeter game, which was AFC Wimbledon away in August 2015. Details here http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4109
Details of the last time Exeter were at Whaddon Road http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4140