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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Exeter City

We take a closer look at this weekend's opponent

9 March 2018

With four wins on the spin, United will be looking to continue their push towards the play-off places as they travel to face Exeter City.

A hard-fought victory over Grimsby last weekend saw the Blues move to within three points of the Sky Bet League Two play-off places with ten games left to play. 

But they’ll face a stern test of their promotion credentials this weekend as they face promotion-chasing Exeter City.

We put the Grecians under the spotlight ahead of our visit to St James’ Park: 

Play-Off Contenders Again? 

After narrowly missing out on promotion via the play-offs last season, Exeter began this season strongly and went eight games unbeaten at the start of the League Two campaign - a run of form which saw Paul Tisdale handed a long-awaited Manager of the Month prize for August. 

And they have managed to sustain that form through the season, meaning the Grecians currently sit sixth in Sky Bet League Two, and look set to be play-off contenders once again this season. 

Exeter have lost just one of their last four games – to fellow promotion rivals Mansfield Town – and look set to push upwards as the season progresses. 

Watch highlights of the play-off semi-final first leg here:

Watch highlights of the play-off semi-final second leg here:

Food for Thought for Tisdale 

Manager Paul Tisdale could have some selection dilemmas this weekend, with several players having recovered from recent injuries. 

While Kane Wilson will miss the game with the Cumbrians after picking up two yellow cards in their last outing, Exeter will be able to welcome back some experienced heads. 

Manager Paul Tisdale told the Grecians’ official website: “I don’t think we have been stronger in terms of the depth of the squad. All the players are back from injury. I am certainly not going to get too pleased about that because things can change literally in an instant.” 

What Does History Tell Us? 

The two sides have met regularly since the 1980s, and more so in the 21st century, with not much to separate either teams’ record. 

From 59 meetings, Exeter have the slightly better record having claimed 24 victories compared to United’s 19, with 16 games ending in draws. 

Recent league form has favoured Carlisle, however, with the Cumbrians having lost just one of their last five league games against the Grecians (excluding the play-offs). 

Meetings between the two clubs have seen plenty of goals over recent years too, with 33 goals scored in the last nine fixtures. 

Watch highlights of the 3-2 league home win last season here:

It’s a Long Journey Home 

It’s a 694-mile round-trip from St James’ Park to Brunton Park, and it’s not traditionally been a happy journey home for the Cumbrians in recent years. 

Of the last six times the two clubs have met at St James’ Park, United have claimed only one victory – a 3-2 win on the final day of last season. 

Watch highlights of the 3-2 league away win last season here:

Keith Curle will be desperate to improve that record this weekend and make it five wins on the bounce. 

Ones to Watch 

+ Jordan Moore-Taylor - Exeter’s captain and a key part of their backline, Moore-Taylor came through the ranks at St. James’ Park before bursting onto the scene in the 2012/13 campaign with a string of impressive performances. Since then, the 23-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength with last season perhaps his best in a red and white shirt as he contributed five goals on the Grecians’ run to the play-off final, while also picking up the Away Travel Player of the Year award. 

+ Dean Moxey - An experienced head in Exeter’s fairly young team, Moxey rejoined his hometown club this summer having spent time at Derby, Crystal Palace and Bolton. He initially made his debut for the club in 2003 and helped City back into the Football League and then into League One before departing for Derby in 2009. Comfortable in either midfield or defence, Moxey’s know-how and higher-level experience will be vital for the Grecians this season. 

+ Jayden Stockley - Striker Stockley rejoined Exeter on transfer deadline day after enjoying a highly-successful loan spell at St James’ Park in 2016. During his temporary stay with the Grecians he netted 10 goals in only 21 appearances, and this form attracted the attention of Aberdeen who lured him north of the border. But after finding first team opportunities limited at Pittodrie he returned to join Tisdale’s men and will hope to recapture the form from his first spell at the club.


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