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31 January 2018 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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'The players response to West Brom has been fantastic but they must stay focused'

Assistant manager Matt Oakley discusses City's recent form ahead of visit of Forest Green Rovers on Wednesday night

29 January 2018

Exeter City assistant manager Matt Oakley has praised the players’ response to their FA Cup exit at the hands of West Bromwich Albion but says they must stay focused ahead of Wednesday night’s game against Forest Green Rovers.

City when they played Liverpool in the FA Cup third round two seasons ago really struggled for League form either side of the match and it cost them a place in the play-off position that season.

Matt Oakley warned the team of similar thing happening this season, but thankfully City responded to their defeat to West Brom with victories over high-flying Coventry City and Notts County.

“When we had the Liverpool FA Cup game a couple of seasons ago, we had a period either side of that game where we lost four matches,” he said. “Our season was on track and we fell away because of that period. I think maybe we lost focus, call it what you like, and that was a big turning point in our season.

“This season we addressed that and we talked to the players about it. We said: ‘We can’t allow the West Brom game – because we were not great in the first half of that match – to derail us and stop all the good work that we have done up until this point.

“So the way the lads have reacted with the Coventry City game and then the Notts County game has just been fantastic.”

City have some big game on the horizon as well with Luton Town and Wycombe to face in the first two weeks of February. However, Matt wants the players focus purely on Forest Green Rovers.

“Forest Green have caused us a lot of problems in the way that they have played,” said Matt. “You talk about styles and they are about playing football. They play out from the back and have caused our teams – this season – a lot of problems.

“So we are not taking that game lightly. We have talked in the last few days about our squad and the people that are going to be involved over the next few weeks.

"Paul (Tisdale) was adamant that it is about Forest Green and we have got to win that game otherwise the Notts County game is a waste. It was such a good performance and win and if we don’t do anything in the Forest Green game that is a big, big waste.

“It is a difficult game for us in the terms that they will have possession and they can hurt you, because they have got some good players. We have got to keep the players focused on that game and let the other ones take care of themselves.”

City will come up against Forest Green for the fifth time this season and despite knowing how they play well, Matt does admit that there is an extra difficulty that the Grecians have going into this match.

“The big difference going into this game for us is that they have got Reuben Reid,” he said. “So then my thoughts are ‘what is Reuben telling them’ and ‘how are they are playing with Reuben in their side’ because I know about Reuben. So, that will be the interesting match-up in how the game goes.”

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Match Reports

City 2 Forest Green Rovers 0

Grecians claim third consecutive win

31 January 2018

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Exeter City beat Forest Green Rovers 2-0 at St James Park with second-half goals from Jayden Stockley and Pierce Sweeney.

After a battling first half which saw the away side test Christy Pym in the City goal a number of times, City took the lead in the second period through Stockley's close range finish from Kyle Edwards' superb cross.

The points were then wrapped up by Sweeney from the penalty spot as he fired high past goalkeeper Brad Collins.

City boss Paul Tisdale selected the same side that beat Notts County last time out with the Grecians looking to record a third successive victory.

It was Mark Cooper’s side who had the first attempt at goal after seven minutes. Initial good work on the outside of the City box saw former Grecian, Reuben Reid, tee up Christian Doidge to strike at Pym, who collected the ball down low.

Just one minute later, though, City gave the away side a real scare when a Lee Holmes free-kick from the right met the head of Jake Taylor, but the midfielder could only glance his header wide of Bradley Collins’ post.

Forest Green then almost took the lead just before the 20-minute mark when Reid did well to hold up play to set up a counter attack. After the ball was worked out to the left-hand side Daniel Wishart was then inches from scoring as his effort across goal edged just wide.

As both teams traded blows the Grecians then went close shortly after when Jayden Stockley did excellently to feed Holmes on the counter-attack. With the City winger running at the Forest Green defence he did well to work himself some space before shooting right footed, but his effort went just inches wide.

Both sides continued to create half chances with Forest Green arguably enjoying the lion share of things with Pym being called into action on more than one occasion by the likes of Dayle Grubb as the sides went into the break level.

City had the first chance after half-time after a good spell of pressure ended in a corner kick. Holmes’ delivery was then met by Stockley who rose well but was unable to keep his header on target.

The Grecians kept up the pressure, though, and took the lead on 50 minutes. After working a short free-kick the ball fell to substitute Kyle Edwards who crossed low for Stockley to volley in from close range and put the Grecians a goal to the good.

Tisdale’s side then had two chances in quick succession to double their advantage when they broke on the counter-attack. It eventually fell to Lloyd James who had an effort cleared off the line before Taylor’s follow up shot edged just wide.

That second goal came just moments after when Edwards was tripped in the box by Dale Bennett leaving referee, Brett Huxtable, to point to the penalty spot. Pierce Sweeney then stepped up to score his sixth goal of the season as he beat Collins with his spot-kick.

City continued to control the second-half as they reduced Cooper’s side to very little in front of goal. The Grecians almost found their third of the evening on 73 minutes when James set Edwards away down the left-hand side. The winger did well to cut inside before shooting wide in front of the Big Bank.

The Grecians continued to manage the game well, as they saw out an important victory as they set their sights on a trip to Luton Town at the weekend.

Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman, James, Archibald-Henville, Tillson, Harley (Edwards, 45), Holmes (Wilson, 82), Stockley, Moxey, Taylor

Subs not used: Jones, Simpson, Seaborne, McAlinden, Boateng

Booked: Holmes

Forest Green Rovers: Collins, Bennett, Collins, Grubb, Doidge (Campbell, 70), Gunning, Wishart, Rawson, Reid, Hollis (Laird, 59), Osbourne (Brown, 86)

Subs not used: Belford, Simpson, Cooper

Booked: Gunning

Attendance: 3,382 (Inc, 141, away)

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Ticket News

🎟 IP Office Main Stand sold out for FGR on Boxing Day

Plenty of standing tickets still available

21 December 2017

The IP Office Main Stand is SOLD OUT for City's festive feast of football on Boxing Day against Forest Green Rovers.

The stand has sold out for all of City's home league matches so far this season.

Standing tickets in the Thatchers' Big Bank, the largest standing terrace in the football league, for the match should still be available to purchase on the day, but again the club is advising that supporters buy tickets in advance to avoid disappointment, and to take advantage of advanced discounts.

To purchase tickets online, please click here. You can also call the club during the normal office hours on 01392 411 243 (option 3) or visit the club shop and reception in person between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Boxing Day football at SJP is the perfect opportunity to get out of the house at Christmas time, to show off that new winter wear and get behind the Grecians as City try and end the year in style, near the top of the table!

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