It seems that when City remember how to shoot, goals suddenly flow, as was the case at Scunthorpe last Saturday when Matt Taylor’s side ran riot in a 4-0 thrashing. Taylor will be hoping to build momentum this weekend with the first of two successive matches against the sides that gained promotion from the National League last season. Archie Collins played an hour of the 3-2 defeat to Wolves in the U23 cup on Wednesday night as he continues his recovery from the knee injury he picked up in pre-season, but Hartlepool next week is considered the more likely fixture for him to return. Colin Daniel also caught the eye on Wednesday night as he looks to break into the side although Jake Caprice’s form since he switched flanks will make it unlikely that Daniel will get the nod.
Given some of the resources floating around in non-league currently, one of the big surprises of last season was Sutton United overcoming far larger clubs to finish top of the table. Up until then the club in the South London suburbs had reached the public consciousness due to a couple of FA Cup runs – notably the 2-1 win over Coventry in 1989, as well as their run to the 5th round in 2017, somewhat overshadowed by fellow National League club Lincoln going one better. This season started off slowly – because the club had to convert their artificial surface to grass over the summer they were unable to host home fixtures for the first few weeks of the season which, combined with a Covid outbreak, meant they had a backlog of fixtures early on. Tipped to struggle, early signs were bad, but Matt Gray’s side have recently come into some form with three straight wins in all competitions including a 1-0 win on Tuesday night against Hartlepool. Most of Gray’s squad will probably be unfamiliar to most as the manager has largely kept faith with the players that got them to the league, although Enzio Boldewijn is someone City have faced on a number of occasions previously during his spells with Crawley and Notts County, while Donovan Wilson will have a point to prove after a loan spell at City that was rather ineffective in 2019.
Saturday marks the first occasion that the sides have met.
Referee: Scott Oldham
Assistant Referees: Daniel Leach and Mark Pottage
Fourth Official : Christopher Wade
Scott Oldham has refereed four Exeter City games, details at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=%22scott+oldham%22