City’s promotion hopes are at risk of fading after a second successive defeat to promotion rivals in difficult circumstances on Saturday, with Matt Taylor decidedly unhappy at the two penalty awards that gave Tranmere the points in a match City otherwise shaded. Added to this is the news that Joel Randall’s hamstring injury picked up while scoring the equaliser looks set to have ended his season prematurely. With Randell Williams back in training albeit not yet ready for a return to action, Taylor’s attacking options are starting to look rather denuded, especially given the situation around Nicky Ajose’s inability to train on artificial surfaces ruling him out of selection. Randall’s injury may mean a return to the wing-back formation that has been less than successful in recent times, alternatively Jack Sparkes could slot in to Randall’s place on the wing.
Tipped to struggle, Oldham’s season looks set to be one where they’re in no danger of featuring in the dogfights at either end of the table. Northampton’s dismissal of Keith Curle led Oldham into action, getting him in to replace Harry Kewell, and Curle will be relishing a match against a City side that he got the better of last season in the playoff final. His four matches so far have yielded three draws and a defeat, so he will be anxious to record a victory before long. Oldham will look to top scorer Conor McAleny with 16 in all competitions as their main goal threat, while Davis Keillor-Dunn has chipped in with nine goals from midfield. Curle is reunited with Nicky Adams, who was snapped up by the Latics in the January window from Northampton, and is a fine performer at this level.
Oldham’s 2-1 win at the Park in November was something of a shock, and revenge for the 5-1 hammering last season. Williams gave City the lead, before stunning goals from Blackwood and Rowe sealed the points for the visitors. The match at Boundary Park last season won’t live long in the memory, City dominating but failing to break down a stubborn defence in a 0-0 draw. City have the edge in league head to heads with 13 wins to Oldham’s nine, seven matches finishing level. Details of the last 13 games can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=10043
The match officials for the game will be:-
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Paul Stonier and Steven Rushton
Fourth Official : Scott Oldham
Exeter have had three games with Sam Purkiss in charge, those games listed at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=purkiss