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05 November 2017 Venue St James Park Attendance

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Tis: 'We will make a selection based on the best performance, not giving players games'

Exeter City's manager looks ahead to Sunday's FA Cup tie with Heybridge Swifts

3 November 2017

Exeter City will welcome back Craig Woodman and Pierce Sweeney into their matchday squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Heybridge Swifts.

Woodman has been out for the past two matches having injured himself in the home defeat to Luton Town, while Pierce Sweeney missed the 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town last Saturday having suffered from food poisoning leading up to the match. 

However, manager Paul Tisdale confirmed that both players will be fit for Sunday’s and Lee Holmes – who scored the equaliser off the bench last time out – will be pushing for a starting berth as well.

“We are making progress,” said Tis, when asked how his squad was shaping up. “We have had Craig Woodman back in training this week so he is back in contention and Pierce Sweeney, who was ill for the game against Mansfield, is back. Lee Holmes is still not 100 per cent fit but may well be fit enough to play on Sunday, but we are making progress.”

Tis says it has not entered his mind to rest people for the match against Heybridge, despite their opponents coming from the eighth tier of English football.

“It is the first round of the FA Cup and we want to win it, so we haven’t even spoken about that (resting players) actually,” he said.

“It is a game we want to win and I will make a selection based on providing the best performance but not on giving the players games.”

A number of players have impressed recently in the side’s under-23s matches. However, they have recently come back from a trip to Sunderland on Thursday. So, does that mean they are likely to miss out?

“No, it will give them more chance of playing, the fact that they have played on a day or two ago,” said Tis. “I’m a believer in them playing football not resting, resting and resting for a game some day in the future.

“They have got to play football and they are playing regularly. They’ve played two games recently – Hull away and Sunderland away – and that only gives them a good momentum going into the game on Sunday should they be selected. So, the more football the better. We have got a squad that can take it, even with the injuries, and they are plenty of players who are pushing for selection this week.”

Asked how City go about avoiding a cup shock, Tis added: “Sometimes when you play in these games there are a different set of variables to think about and challenge yourself with and possession doesn’t always win.

“The team that has most passes or most shots at goal, doesn’t always win. It is about the right time, right place and doing the right thing.”

“We are playing against a non-league team who have done very, very well to get to this point. I had achieved that myself in the non-league with Team Bath in 2002. 

"So, I know what it takes to get to this point. They have played seven matches to get to this point. I think they will play more matches than the winners of the FA Cup will this year.

"So, it is an amazing achievement and they won’t want to see their dream and excitement finish this Sunday. They will look to take that to another game or a replay, but we have got to make sure we do the best for us and the best for us is a professional performance, it is not about anything sexy, it is about winning the game.”

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Match Reports

City 3 Heybridge Swifts 1

City through to second round of the FA Cup with win at St James Park

5 November 2017

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A Jayden Stockley brace and a goal from Liam McAlinden meant Exeter City got their Emirates FA Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 3-1 victory against Heybridge Swifts.

Stockley bagged two quick-fire goals early in the second half to give the Grecians the lead before Samuel Bantick pulled one back for the visitors.

Liam McAlinden’s late strike then restored City’s two goal cushion and saw them progress to the next round.

Match report sponsored by Speedy Freight

City named a strong side, making just two changes from the side that earned a point at Mansfield Town last weekend with Craig Woodman and Pierce Sweeney replacing Kyle Edwards and Kane Wilson in the starting line-up.

The Grecians started the game brightly and their first big chance came after four minutes. Craig Woodman lofted a long ball in to the penalty area which Stockley nodded in to the path of an unmarked Reuben Reid, but the City frontman struggled to control the knock-down and the ball drifted wide of the post.

The home side were much the better team in the opening stages and Stockley was once again involved as City created another opening. The striker leaped to meet Dean Moxey’s cross from the left but he couldn’t steer his header home.

After a busy start for the Swifts defence, the visitors gradually enjoyed more of the ball and this spell of possession culminated in Ben Sampayo surging forward to fire an effort at goal, but the full-back saw his curling shot deflected wide by Pierce Sweeney.

City then responded with two opportunities of their own as Jake Taylor won possession deep in the Swifts half and fired a speculative effort just wide, with an attempt from Moxey being deflected over the bar just moments later.

The second half commenced in a similar vein as the Grecians looked to pile the pressure on the visitors. Stockley had City’s first chance of the half when he managed to fire a powerful shot at goal amongst a crowded penalty area but his half-volley was eventually cleared off the line.

They then made the breakthrough just before the hour mark after a period of sustained pressure. Lloyd James whipped in a teasing corner from the left and his cross was met by the head of Stockley who fired a bullet header home.

Just three minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead when Taylor’s low cross evaded the Swifts defence and fell in to the path of Stockley. The striker then took a touch before coolly slotting home to give City a two-goal advantage.

But just as the Grecians started to look comfortable, the visitors created an opening and halved the deficit after 70 minutes. A deep cross in to the City box was knocked back towards Samuel Bantick who bundled the loose ball home at the back post to hand Swifts a lifeline.

With four minutes remaining, City regained their two-goal cushion after Hiram Boateng played in McAlinden with a delightful through ball and the substitute’s effort found the back of the net after going through the legs of Swifts goalkeeper Danny Sambridge.

City pushed hard for a fourth goal, with Stockley in particular desperate to bag his hat-trick, but the hosts were forced to settle for three on an afternoon where non-league Swifts performed admirably but City’s class ensured they progress to the second round.

Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Moore-Taylor, Brown, Woodman (Holmes 60), Moxey, James (Edwards 70), Boateng, Taylor, Reid (McAlinden 75), Stockley.

Booked: Moxey

Heybridge Swifts: Sambridge, Ramon, Sampayo, Dark, Henshaw, Cawley, Chatting, Griffiths, Callander (Gardner 67), Bantick, Luque.

Booked: Chatting, Bantick

Attendance: 3,004 (251 away)

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Ticket News

Tickets: City v Heybridge Swifts on general sale

Game now on general sale

27 October 2017

Tickets are now on general sale for Exeter City's Emirates FA Cup first round tie with Heybridge Swifts.

The match, at St James Park, has been moved to Sunday, November 5, at 2pm, so it can be shown on BBC Final Score along with four other matches that afternoon. It’s an in-vision style broadcast using a single camera rather than full-blown full coverage. 

The ticket prices for the game are as follows:

Thatchers' Big Bank (standing)

Adult: £15
Senior £10
Student: £10
Under-18s: £5

IP Office (seated)

Adult: £20
Senior: £15
Student: £15
Under-18s: £5

There are no advance discounts in place for the game, but fans wanting to purchase seated tickets are advised to so as early as the IP Office Stand has sold out for every League Two game this season. The IP Office Stand is also where the Heybridge Swifts supporters will be situated. 

Tickets can be purchased in the club shop/reception at St James Park which is open from 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and 11am - 5pm on matchdays at SJP. You can call the ticket line on 01392 411 243 (option 2). However, the quickest way to order is online by clicking here.

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