After a blip of three matches without a win, City got back on track against Port Vale last Saturday, and will hope to kick off the Easter weekend with a second straight home win. Furthermore, the results last weekend put City four points clear of the chasing pack so another win could virtually cement an extension to the season for the third successive year. Matt Taylor was forced to shuffle his pack somewhat with Kane Wilson injured, and Taylor will be hoping the West Brom loanee has recovered in time to face Crawley – otherwise Taylor could go unchanged.
Having lost manager Harry Kewell to Notts County earlier in the season and made something of a leftfield appointment in Italian Gabriele Cioffi, Crawley have endured a season where they have failed to trouble the scorers at either end of the table. A poor run of form has seen the Red Devils slip to 20th, although with a nine point gap to the bottom two it would take a miracle for them to go down. That poor run ended on Saturday with a 1-0 win at Yeovil (where defeat would have pushed Cioffi’s side right into the scrap at the bottom). With a tiny squad at his disposal, one notable statistic is that Cioffi has been unable to name a full bench since a 2-6 FA Cup defeat to Southend back in November. Much will rest upon Ollie Palmer, who has 16 goals in all competitions, while veteran Glenn Morris has been ever-present in goal. Filipe Morais in midfield will look to pull the strings.
City’s recent record against Crawley hasn’t been particularly impressive, having failed to register a home win since the Conference promotion season of 07/08. It was honours even at Broadfield back in October – Morais gave the hosts the lead only for Lee Holmes to come off the bench to equalise. The shares were also spoiled last season at the Park, a year ago almost to the day – Boldewijn’s stunner gave Crawley the lead, Stockley’s brace put City 2-1 up only for Yorwerth to equalise. Despite the poor recent run City have a big league head to head advantage with eight wins to Crawley’s two, five matches finishing level. Head to head information at http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9487
Match officials for the game are:-
Referee: Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referees: Andrew Hendley and Samuel Ogles
Fourth Official: Mark Russell
Two games so far for Thomas Bramall in charge of Exeter, both this season http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=bramall