City came through the first of hopefully two cup ties against Oxford thanks to the penalty heroics of third choice keeper Dino Visser and, given Jonny Maxted’s ricket in conceding the equaliser against Hartlepool in the FA Cup on Sunday, Matt Taylor is left to make a decision on who gets the gloves on Saturday. Elsewhere it’s otherwise largely as you were for an important match against an in-form side.
After a difficult start to the season Northampton have begun to purr in the league, winning five and drawing one of their last six league games, scoring 14 goals in the process. Keith Curle’s side have also successfully negotiated their way to the FA Cup 3rd round although, like City’s trip to Oxford should Hartlepool be overcome next Tuesday, the Cobblers haven’t exactly been dealt a good draw as they visit League One side Burton. Northampton’s recent run of eight unbeaten in all competitions came to an end on Tuesday night with a 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth in the FA Trophy. Like with City, Northampton’s goals have been shared around – City can’t take their eyes off experienced striker Andy Williams, who leads the way with six goals, while others to watch include Nicky Adams, who starred for Curle at Carlisle, and Sam Hoskins.
While Northampton’s first season back in the basement didn’t exactly go according to plan, they did enjoy some success against City, picking up four points. The corresponding fixture in November was one of those where City’s weakness at holding onto leads in stoppage time cost them dear. City took the lead through Jake Taylor, only to be pegged back by Billy Waters. Jayden Stockley restored the lead, only to put through his own net deep into time added on. The reverse in March saw the hosts go into a 2-0 lead through Pierre and Williams before Aaron Martin reduced the arrears. One of City’s most frequent opponents over the years, the league head to head sees Northampton lead by a massive 48 wins to 28, 30 matches finishing level. Information on the last 20 games cane be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9878
The match officials for the game are:-
Referee: Neil Hair
Assistant Referees: Mike Desborough and Kevin Howick
Fourth Official : Sam Allison
Neil Hair has refereed Exeter four times, details at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=neil+hair