Next Up: Exeter City vs Fleetwood Town

City’s recent upturn appears to be in danger of sliding after a second successive defeat at Lincoln last week. After a long run of two matches per week Gary Caldwell will have been grateful for a week of downtime ahead of what could be a crucial fixture in trying to steer clear of the bottom four. Caldwell made a number of changes at Lincoln but is likely to name his strongest available side – with Ben Purrington having come back earlier than expected after his injury at Bristol Rovers he provides another option as it looks like Caldwell may opt for a balance of attacking threat on one flank and defensive stability on the other. This would mean one of Harper and Rankine starting and one of Purrington and Niskanen. Up front Mo Eisa should expect to return to the starting line-up ahead of Sonny Cox, while Reece Cole should also return.

Having gone on a disastrous run that saw them part company with their second manager of the season in Lee Johnson, Fleetwood have turned to Charlie Adam in a bid to salvage their season. Some hope appeared to be on the horizon with back to back wins over Port Vale (their first since November) and Bristol Rovers, but a solitary point from their last three games has left the Cod Army seven points from safety. With Jack Marriott having departed to Wrexham, Fleetwood will be relying on former City favourite Jayden Stockley (seven goals in all competitions) and Promise Omochere (four) to provide the fire power, while loanee Harry Boyes will make his second appearance at the Park this season, his last game in his previous loan spell at Wycombe being the Boxing Day 1-0 defeat to City.

If anything summed up City’s crisis in the latter part of 2023, it was the 3-0 drubbing at Fleetwood in November (which would be Fleetwood’s last win until beating Port Vale recently). All the action was in the first half with goals from Broom, Sarpong-Wiredu and Patterson. This fixture last season would be the last under caretaker boss Kevin Nicholson and resulted in a last gasp 2-1 win. Fleetwood led through Carlos Gomes, Jay Stansfield replied immediately before Sam Nombe scored an injury time winner. The 3-0 thrashing was Fleetwood’s first win in this fixture, City have three wins and three further matches have finished level.

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Sam Purkiss
Assistant Referees: Marvyn Amphlett and Daniel Flynn
Fourth Official : Ross Martin

The last Exeter game that Sam Pukiss took charge of was back in August when City drew 0-0 with Blackpool as St James Park.

{this article continues after this advert break}

Pre-match interview with Gary Caldwell

Pre-match interview wit Dion Rankine

Leave a Reply