Successive come-from-behind wins in the last week extended City’s club record unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions and put Matt Taylor’s side right back in the promotion mix ahead of a weekend trip to perhaps the biggest spenders in the division. City switched to a back four for the Mansfield match and, with Colin Daniel impressing at left back, Taylor may look to stick to this formation. Selection headaches elsewhere concern the likes of Jevani Brown and Padraig Amond, both impressing off the bench on Saturday and hoping for starts, although that may be harsh on the likes of Kyle Taylor and Owura Edwards, who would be the likely casualties.
Like Mansfield, Salford have flattered to deceive so far this season in comparison with their rumoured squad budget financed partly by the “Class of 92”. Gary Bowyer, who tasted promotion from this division at City’s expense in 2017 with Blackpool, was installed as manager and he had a busy summer with a number of players leaving and arriving – arrivals included players like Josh Morris from Fleetwood, Matty Lund from Rochdale and Tom King, the Newport keeper who hit the headlines when he notched a goal last season. With a weight of expectation from fans, the board and pundits alike, Bowyer’s side has stuttered so far and come into Saturday’s match languishing in mid-table. Salford haven’t exactly been patient with managers since coming into their fortune, so Bowyer will know he needs to turn things around quickly if he’s to be at the helm for the long haul. One thing he will need to sort out is a regular scorer, as nobody currently has more than two league goals so far this season.
City picked up four points from this fixture last season – the corresponding fixture kicked off the 20/21 season and finished 2-2. Salford led through Ian Henderson, but strikes from Jay and Randall had City ahead at the break before Ashley Hunter equalised. City edged the return at the Park 1-0, Jay again the scorer.
The match officials for this game are:-
Referees: John Busby
Assistant Referees: Nick Greenhalgh and Akil Howson
Fourth Official : Lewis Smith
John Busby has refereed five Exeter City games, details at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=busby