Next Up: Peterborough United vs Exeter City

A disappointing second half saw City drop what could be two vital points in a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Fleetwood last week, with Gary Caldwell not holding back with his criticism of his side’s approach in both halves of the match. Attention turns now to a trip to a side in the thick of the promotion battle. As expected Caldwell looked for balance on the flanks with his selection with a Harper-Niskanen combination, and he may look instead to Purrington and Rankine at Peterborough. Elsewhere Ryan Woods made his first start with Jack Aitchison missing through injury – should he be fit Aitchison is likely to return to the side, presumably at Woods’ expense.

Having suffered four straight defeats (including at SJP in the reverse fixture), Peterborough returned to form in winning 3-0 at Blackpool in booking their spot at Wembley for the EFL Trophy final, then maintained this return with a 1-0 win at rivals Cambridge last week. Darren Ferguson’s side will therefore be in buoyant mood having apparently got their season back on track after that mini wobble. Ferguson has an abundance of talent to call upon, with wantaway striker Jonson Clarke-Harris appearing mainly from the bench, leaving the likes of Ephron Mason-Clarke – himself leaving in the summer and back on loan – to lead the line with 16 goals in all competitions. Two former City players have nailed down places in the starting line-up – Joel Randall has forced his way into contention after a couple of seasons on the fringes, while Archie Collins has settled in well after his move last summer.

The reverse fixture took place just under a month ago having been rearranged due to international call-ups. Peterborough led 1-0 through a Harrison Burrows penalty, but capitulated after a red card for Michael Olakigbe, City winning 2-1 through a goal that was eventually credited to Reece Cole and an own goal from Jadel Katongo. Posh cruised to a 3-1 win in this fixture last season, the Easter Monday match saw the hosts lead 2-0 at half time through an Alex Hartridge own goal and Mason-Clarke. Rekeem Harper produced a rare glimpse of his talent in reducing the arrears after half time before Clarke-Harris sealed the win. City haven’t won at London Road since December 1988, and Posh enjoy a slight league head to head lead, 15-13 with 19 draws.

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Marc Edwards
Assistant Referees: Kevin Howick and Marc Wilson
Fourth Official : Michael Chard

Although Marc Edwards has been refereeing EFL games for a number of seasons, this will be the first time he’s taken charge of an Exeter City game.

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Interview with Kevin Nicholson

Interview with Ben Purrington

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