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Match Previews

Exeter Preview

Andy Phillips previews Saturday's trip to Exeter City.

10 November 2017

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TOWN make the long trip down to Exeter City on Saturday afternoon (3pm) as they begin a run of games against sides at the top end of the table.

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The Mariners have been particularly impressive away from home as of late, so will be looking to add to it against a side that have been near the top of the table since August.

However, they will also face a side that are looking to get back to winning ways after a difficult run of form, which may make it an even tougher fixture than it looked beforehand.

No fresh injury concerns for Town

Town have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Gloucestershire, with the likes of Mitch Rose and Karleigh Osbourne being back in training following spells out.

Jamey Osborne could be in contention for a return in the next couple of weeks after coming through the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Sunderland, so his return could be a big boost for the Mariners in the near future.

 Exeter will be without midfielder Lloyd James through suspension after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out, whilst they have several longer term absentees in the form of defenders Jordan Tillson and Luke Croll and strikers Robbie Simpson and Ryan Brunt.

Exeter looking to bounce back

Exeter have kept up the form that saw them reach the League Two play-offs last campaign following a stunning second half to the campaign, and they go into Saturday's game in 4th despite a tricky few weeks.

The Grecians haven't won in four games in the league but have been able to afford to drop points after a fast start to the season that saw them win seven of their first eight games in League Two.

They made it to the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday as a brace from Jayden Stockley and a further strike from Liam McAlinden saw Exeter dispatch of eighth tier side Heybridge Swifts, and will now be looking tfor an improvement in their league form at the weekend.

Manager Paul Tisdale is now the second longest manager in English football behind Arsene Wenger having been at the club since 2006 and earning promotions from the National League and League Two for the Grecians during that time.

He did well to turn things around last season after an extremely difficult start to the campaign saw Exeter in the relegation zone, and they are now sure to be amongst the promotion pack come the end of the campaign.

Strikers Reuben Reid and Jayden Stockley in particular have struck up a particularly potent partnership, scoring 13 goals between them, and their blend of youth and experience will prove a test for any side that comes up against the Grecians' strike force this season.

Town hoping for revenge after last time out

Last season saw Exeter earn four points from their two games against Town, with the last encounter seeing the Grecians come away with a 3-0 win at Blundell Park.

The reverse fixture was a fairly unventful goalless draw in October 2016, and it is interesting to note that the last three games at Exeter's St James Park ground have ended that way.

Both sides have met on 32 occasions in the past, with Town winning 13, Exeter winning 11 and there having been eight draws.

Managers in summary

Paul Wilkinson: ''They play good football, they can be quite direct at times. It is going to be a test for us as always. Paul (Tisdale) gets his teams playing in a good way. They’ve had a terrific start to the season, it hasn’t quite gone so well over the last five or six games. But, again, they are a good team and had a good result over the weekend.”

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