With City now unbeaten in three and starting to put a bit of daylight between themselves and the relegation zone following their damp 3-1 win at Cheltenham last week, attention turns to whether Paul Tisdale’s side can finally clinch a win in front of their own fans in their last home match of 2016. Jordan Tillson made a welcome return from the bench and he may be ready for a start in the patched up defence, but otherwise the side could be largely unchanged. Ethan Ampadu limped out of the FA Youth Cup defeat to Wigan so may need to be replaced on the bench, Kyle Egan or Alex Byrne could deputise should the other walking wounded not be ready.
Mansfield decided, after a poor start to the campaign, to dispense with the services of manager Adam Murray and replaced him with someone whose character is the archetypal description of “colourful”, but who has earned a reputation for success in the lower leagues. Steve Evans, the convicted fraudster and regular at FA disciplinary panels, has been tasked with matching the Mansfield Chairman’s ambition, and has overseen something of an improvement in the Stags’ fortunes as they sit 13th, but the tightness of the table means that a home win would see City leapfrog them. Key to Mansfield’s fortunes will be Matt Green, back at the club after a failed venture up the divisions, Green has started to find his form again and has nine goals in all competitions. Other players to watch include Krystian Pearce and Danny Rose.
Last season it was the usual story as the away sides emerged victorious. The corresponding fixture saw City’s long unbeaten run come to an end with a 3-2 defeat. Tafazolli and Benning put the Stags 2-0 up, only for City to come back to 2-2 with goals from Watkins and Ribeiro, before Tafazolli restored Mansfield’s advantage. Earlier in the season City emerged from Field Mill with a 2-0 win through Grant and Holmes both notching their first goals for the club. City hold the slight Football League head to head lead with 21 wins to Mansfield’s 20 (17 draws).
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistant Referees: Andrew Quin and Adrian Tranter
Fourth Official Robert Dabbs
He’s taken charge of five Exeter games, the most recent being the home defeat to Notts County in September.
Details of lasts season’s game can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4070