Preview: Cheltenham vs Exeter City (EFL Trophy)

While Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Walsall extended City’s unbeaten league run to eight, the frustration at drawing six out of ten matches so far (eight out of twelve including two shootout defeats in the cups) really came through in Matt Taylor’s post-match interview, where he hinted at a change of shape and personnel in coming weeks, with several players thought to be at risk should they not buck up their ideas against Cheltenham in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night. One player singled out for praise was Sam Nombe, who now has three in three since opening his account against Sutton, while the absence of Owura Edwards on Saturday suggested he was the second player with Covid following Kyle Taylor’s diagnosis during the week. However, there was better news with Josh Coley coming off the bench against Walsall to make his debut, while Archie Collins got through 45 minutes unscathed.

Back in the third tier following their promotion last season, Cheltenham made a decent start to the season, but a run of difficult games against Preston in the EFL Cup then promotion favourites Wigan, Sunderland and Rotherham, mean Michael Duff’s side go into Tuesday night on the back of four straight defeats and will therefore be looking to regain some form against their lower division opposition. The Robins no longer have the weaponry of the long Ben Tozer throw as he decided to drop two levels to join moneybags Wrexham, while one player who would hope to feature but is likely to sit the match out is former City star Liam Sercombe, who has made a habit of having strong encounters against the club that developed him.

Having not won in this fixture since 2013, Cheltenham took the points in both matches last season, the match at Whaddon Road finished in a ridiculous 5-3 scoreline with that man Sercombe scoring twice. The sides have met once before in the EFL Trophy, City winning 1-0 in the group stage in 19/20 through a goal from Nicky Ajose.

The match officials for the game will be:-

Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistant Referees: Justin Amey and Andrew Hendley
Fourth Official: Daniel Flynn

Craig Hicks has taken charge of seven Exeter games, details at

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