Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs Exeter City

City finally rediscovered that if you create chances, you score goals and, although it arguably took a red card at 1-2 to secure the win, the 3-2 victory on Tuesday night that relegated Grimsby also kept alive City’s slim hopes of extending their season. Matt Taylor will hope to take renewed confidence into what could literally be a make or break match against the division’s form side who themselves will hope to secure automatic promotion on Saturday. Alex Fisher’s contributions to the cause this season have been rare but both of his strikes have proved vital, his equaliser giving City the impetus to go on and win. Taylor took the bold move of relegating top scorers Matt Jay and Ryan Bowman to the bench, but their introduction along with Fisher proved vital and at least Jay and Bowman will expect to start on Saturday.

Bolton’s season appears to be following the script many predicted. Having pretty much a completely new squad and a new manager, the Trotters were expected to start slowly and finish strongly, and this has certainly been the case with Ian Evatt’s side struggling during the first half of the season but their last 20 matches have yielded 15 wins, three draws and two defeats, catapulting them into a position where a win will guarantee an immediate return to League One – even defeat may be enough should other results go their way. For the second successive season the goals of Eoin Doyle have propelled a side to the top, his 18 goals marking him out as the one to watch, while Antoni Sarcevic is someone City are familiar with from his time down the A38. With a large number of players being used one player, Ricardo Santos, has started every match.

Bolton were still in the lower reaches of the table when they visited the Park back in January. Santos, yet to record a goal for Bolton this season, did get on the scoresheet but at the wrong end before Gnahoua equalised in a 1-1 draw. It has been so long since the sides were in the same division that when City last played away to Bolton it was at Burnden Park, where the gulf between a side that would be promoted against a side battling relegation was evident as Bolton dished out a 4-1 hammering in March 1993. Bolton have five wins to City’s two, four matches finishing level.  Some of our encounters can be found at

Match officials for the game will be:-

Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Assistant Referees: Wayne Grunnill and David Avent
Fourth Official : Kevin Mulraine

Just the two games with Anthony Backhouse in charge of Exeter, game details at:-

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