It has been self-dubbed “A new era”, and it certainly feels that way after a tumultuous summer that saw the longest serving manager in English professional Football, Paul Tisdale, leave for pastures new in MK Dons. City opted for continuity at the helm, promoting Matt Taylor from within, although under him there’s the sense of a new broom with several new members of the coaching staff. In terms of playing personnel it has been a busy time too, with several ins and outs. Pre-season signs were good, however, with City going through the programme unbeaten including an eye-catching 4-0 win away at higher division Bristol Rovers last Saturday. When a manager departs after a long spell it can often lead to an “after the Lord Mayor’s Show” slump (see Man United post-Ferguson), but Taylor is determined this will not be the case with City.
With that in mind, attention turns to the new season and the visit of Carlisle. With the new stands almost complete there is still a reduced capacity for Taylor’s first few home matches, more so as the Big Bank has a reduced capacity temporarily too. In terms of the side Taylor will look to put out, the potential fly in the ointment is the hand injury picked up by new signing Jonathan Forte in scoring at Bristol Rovers. It may be that he can play in a cast, otherwise one of Matt Jay or young loanee Tristan Abrahams will deputise. Other new signings Martin (A), Martin (L), Law and Oates are also likely to feature, the latter probably on the bench rather than the starting eleven.
Carlisle have also made a managerial change during the summer, and the appointment of much-travelled boss John Sheridan is likely to be a shrewd move for a side that few people would otherwise predict to pull up any trees. A number of players departed over the summer, including influential players such as Miller, Lambe and Adams, while new signings have been somewhat restricted, although the signing of Adam Collin from Notts County will give increased stability at the back. Hallam Hope up front will be one to watch, while Jamie Devitt adds much needed bite in the middle of the park.
After the playoff drama between the sides in 16/17, last season was altogether more sedate, with City picking up four points from the matches between the sides. A Pierce Sweeney goal gave City a 1-0 win in Cumbria in October, then in March the match finished 1-1, Dean Moxey’s first half goal cancelled out in the second half by Ashley Nadesan. City have the head-to-head lead in league encounters, winning 23 to Carlisle’s 19 (16 draws).
Details of the March 1-1 game can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=exeter-city-vs-carlisle-united-5 Details of the last 32 encounters between the two sides can be found at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_calendar=9029
Assistant Referees: Samuel Ogles and Christopher Wade
Fourth Official : Ben Cobb
Graham has refereed nine Exeter games, the first being a D3 game in August 2001 away at the Shay which Exeter drew 1-1 despite having Neil Whitworth sent off. Those games can be checked at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=graham+salisbury