City’s promising season continued apace with a stunning 3-2 win at Gillingham in the FA Cup to set up a third round tie – at the time of writing the draw has yet to take place so it could be Man City or Mansfield – but whoever City are drawn against won’t fancy coming up against an attack that has scored nine goals in its last two matches and is up there with the leading scorers in the country across all competitions. One confirmed change will be in goal, Jokull Andresson’s fine loan spell officially ending with the Icelandic keeper posting a message of support on Twitter as he heads back to Reading. As a result, Lewis Ward is expected to move from report writing back to headline making in goal. Another Lewis – Page – made his return from his hamstring injury only to be withdrawn with another leg injury shortly after his mistake led to the opening goal, so Jack Sparkes will be back in the starting line-up. Matt Taylor has selection headaches elsewhere, as Nicky Law and Nigel Atangana were outstanding at Gillingham but the form throughout the season of Matt Jay, Archie Collins and Jake Taylor makes them difficult to drop.
Grimsby’s season has suffered a bit of a disjointed start thanks to the spectre of Covid, which caused a number of their matches to be postponed and means they’ve played just 12 matches to City’s 14. Despite this they had a day off on Saturday after their 3-1 defeat at non-league Dagenham & Redbridge in the first round. Recent form was poor before a 2-1 win at Crawley last Tuesday night ended a run of four straight defeats across three competitions. Ian Holloway was very busy during the off-season, with a number of players both arriving and leaving, while no fewer than seven loanees have been signed as Holloway has used no fewer than 28 players in league matches already. Scoring goals appears to be a huge issue, with summer signing Montel Gibson the top scorer with just three across all competitions.
Last season it was a tale of away sides being victorious in this fixture. Grimsby visited the Park in September and for the second successive season came away with the points in a 3-1 win – City’s only home defeat all season. A Robson brace and a penalty from Ogbu put Grimsby 3-0 up before Ryan Bowman netted a consolation in injury time. Nicky Law scored the only goal at Blundell Park. Grimsby have the slight lead in league head to heads with 13 wins to City’s 11, eight matches finishing level. The last 13 games are recounted at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9832
Match officials for the game are:-
Referees: James Oldham
Assistanht Referees: Geoffrey Liddle and Paul Graham
Fourth Official : Wayne Grunnill
Just the one game in charge of Exeter for James Oldham, which was the Cambridge game in January in which City won 1-0.