Preview: Fleetwood Town vs Exeter City
There is a real feelgood factor around City again after a pair of impressive home victories in the last week, and Gary Caldwell will hope that translates into another strong performance in the only match in the run-in against another side whose season is effectively over. City’s only change for the 3-1 win over promotion-chasing Barnsley was James Scott in for Sam Nombe, but City’s top scorer will hope to be restored to the starting XI on Saturday. Elsewhere Kegs Chauke will be missing for the final time on international duty.
Having been draw specialists earlier in the season, Fleetwood assuaged any fears of being embroiled in a relegation battle by turning some of those draws into wins, ensuring Scott Brown’s first season in management will end in mid-table safety as well as a run to the 5th round of the FA Cup, a great achievement after the Cod Army only just avoided the drop last season. Brown had a busy January, bringing in some high quality players including Jack Marriott and former City striker Jayden Stockley. Although between them they have three goals since joining, the overall issue of scoring goals seems to have been alleviated since Fleetwood visited Devon back in October.
That match, the final game with Kevin Nicholson in caretaker charge, saw him sign off with a last gasp victory. Fleetwood took the lead through top scorer Carlos Mendes Gomes, only for Jay Stansfield to equalise almost immediately. City pressed hard for a winner which arrived in injury time through Sam Nombe. City’s last visit to Highbury was in Fleetwood’s 2013/14 promotion season where, despite Fleetwood’s eventual promotion and City narrowly avoiding relegation, City again came from behind to win 2-1 on their way to a league double. Blair gave the hosts the lead but Scot Bennett’s double gave City the win. City have yet to lose in this fixture, winning three and drawing two.
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Lewis Smith
Assistant Referees: Matthew Parry and Danny Gratton
Fourth Official : Paul Newhouse
This will be Lewis Smith first time refereeing an Exeter game, and for him a rare League One match. On Tuesday night he refereed Boreham Wood against Torquay United.
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