Preview: Hartlepool United vs Exeter City – FA Cup

City will be kicking themselves that this fixture is slotted into the calendar, but the capitulation from a comfortable 2-0 lead to a 2-2 draw, especially given the triple save seconds before the arrears were reduced, means City have to make the long trek to the opposite end of the country for a replay with hardly the most tantalising of 3rd round draws awaiting the victor. Matt Taylor may consider a few changes from the side that came back so well to beat in-form Northampton 3-2 on Saturday – Archie Collins limped off towards the end and may not be risked ahead of the busy Christmas period, meaning a return to the side for skipper Jake Taylor. Tom Parkes is also pushing for a recall, while Alex Fisher will hope he has done enough to retain his place up front.

Hartlepool perhaps had one eye on the replay on Saturday when going down to their first defeat under new boss Dave Challinor, a 2-1 reverse at high-flying Woking. Top scorer Gime Toure notched his 12th of the season from the penalty spot, while once again the players to look out for include Nicky Featherstone (who scored a stunner in the original tie) and Ryan Donaldson. Nicke Kabamba is a threat usually off the bench.

The last time City made the trip to Hartlepool was during Pools’ relegation season of 2016/17 but despite City’s sparkling form at the time that would end up at Wembley in the playoff final a shock result ensued as Hartlepool won 3-1 – Ollie Watkins had City ahead at the break but goals from Alessandra (2) and Amond saw Pools storm back for the points. This season is the first in which the sides have competed in the FA Cup. Details of the last 40 encounters can be found at

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Scott Oldham
Assistant Referees: Kevin Mulraine and David Benton
Fourth Official: Williamson, Adam

Two games for Scott Oldham refereeing Exeter, the most recent being the defat in the League Cup this season away to Coventry.


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