Our look at the teams we face in League Two this season continues as Exeter City come under the spotlight.
Nickname: The Grecians
Club Colours: Red, White & Black
Who are they?
Exeter City were formed in 1904 when two local clubs, Exeter United and St Sidwell’s United, came together as one. The club entered the Southern League in 1908 before they were invited to be founding members of the Football League’s Third Division in 1920.
The Grecians achieved their first promotion in 1964 before winning their first, and only, league championship as they lifted the Fourth Division title in 1990. That season also included a remarkable 31-game unbeaten run.
But in 2003, Exeter fell into the Conference after finishing 23rd in Division Three. In the process, they became the first club to suffer automatic relegation to non-league without finishing bottom of the league.
Promotion back to League Two came in 2008, with back-to-back promotions then secured thanks to a second place finish in their first season back in the Football League. Exeter’s stay in League One lasted three seasons, and they have been in League Two since 2012.
Did You Know?
+ Exeter’s home ground of St. James’ Park was previously an old field used for fattening pigs, with football played on the ground since 1904.
+ The Grecians are accepted as the first side to play a national team from Brazil as part of a tour to South America in 1914 to help promote football in the continent.
+ Famous fans of the club include TV presenter Noel Edmonds and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, while in 2002 Michael Jackson was made an honorary director.
How did they get on last season?
Exeter narrowly missed out on promotion last season after making it all the way to the play-off final. An impressive 5th league place finish and a dramatic late win over the Cumbrians in the play-off semi-final saw them face Blackpool in the final but they lost out 2-1 to the Seasiders at Wembley.
Who’s in charge?
The second longest-serving manager in England, Paul Tisdale has been in charge at St. James’ Park since June 2006. After a playing career which saw him represent Southampton and Bristol City, as well as having a spell abroad, he moved into management with Team Bath in 2001.
He guided Team Bath to the First Round of the FA Cup in 2002/03 and led the side to four promotions. These exploits saw the Grecians take note, and they appointed him as manager during their Conference years. He has now managed almost 600 games at Exeter.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Exeter released only three players at the end of last season, with Connor Riley-Lowe, Tom McCready and Bobby Olejnik all leaving St. James’ Park. Attacker Joel Grant was offered a new deal, but turned it down in favour of a move to local rivals Plymouth.
There have been two new additions, but both are familiar faces - fans’ favourite Dean Moxey rejoined after leaving Bolton and former loanee Luke Croll signed a permanent deal.
They’ve Played For Both
Northern Irish international Eric Welsh made the move from the Grecians to Cumbria in 1965. Welsh made 105 appearances during a six-year stay at St. James’ Park, scoring 19 goals. After making the move to Brunton Park he netted 17 times in 75 appearances for the Blues. The winger was capped four times for Northern Ireland, and also spent time at Torquay and Hartlepool.
More recently, centre back Troy Archibald-Henville played for both United and Exeter. The defender is still on the books at St. James’ Park having been offered a new deal at the end of last season.
Memorable Meeting - Carlisle 4-1 Exeter (28 April 2012)
United’s final home game of the 2011/12 season ended with a comprehensive victory over Exeter. Francois Zoko handed the Blues the lead, but Liam Sercombe levelled the scores sixty seconds later. Jordan Cook restored United’s lead before the break, with Zoko and Liam Noble netting in the second half to round-off a fine performance.
When Did We Last Meet?
How could we forget? We last met the Grecians on 18 May 2017 in the second leg of the play-off semi-final. Ollie Watkins’ brace had put Exeter in the driving seat but late strikes from Jason Kennedy and John O’Sullivan looked to have forced extra time. That was until Jack Stacey fired home in the last minute of injury time in a cruel end to the season.
Highlights of the 3-2 home victory in November are here:
Highlights of the 3-2 away victory at the end of May are here:
Highlights of the play-off semi-final first leg are here:
Highlights of the play-off semi-final second leg are here:
When Do We Meet Next?
Exeter travel to Brunton Park on 7 October, while we make the long journey to St James’ Park on 10 March.