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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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24 April 2021 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

📝 Match Preview: Newport County (H)

Huge match ahead for the Grecians

23 April 2021

Exeter City take on Newport County this Saturday in a play-off place six pointer that Grecians boss Matt Taylor has called 'a must win.'

The Exiles sit three points above City in the League Two table, occupying the final play-off place, but Taylor's side will move into that spot if they beat the Welsh side on Saturday, owing to their superior goal difference.

City have been held to 0-0 draws in their last two matches, most recently at Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday evening, while County ran out 2-0 wnners against Crawley Town on the same night. 

In the previous fixture this season City held on for a 1-1 draw despite playing the whole second half with only nine men following Ryan Bowman and Alex Hartridge's first half dismissals.

Matt Taylor's Thoughts

"It's a game that we have to win and pick up the three points," he said ahead of the visit of the Welsh side to SJP. 

"It all comes down to this weekend, and whatever the result we will have a clearer idea of what we need in the final three games.

"Newport are in exactly the same position as us. It will tight and cagey, but the players have just got to release the shackles."

Hear more from Matt 👇

How To Watch

Sadly fans can't be at the match but you can get the next best thing by purchasing a match pass at the cost of just £10 in the UK. The stream includes BBC Radio Devon commentary, score overlay and replays.

To purchase a match pass please click here.

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Exeter City on social media

The Grecian

The Grecian is now on sale for this match. Given the importance of the fixture, we thought there was no one better to catch up with our 'go-to man', Matt Jay, who shares his thoughts on the run-in and more: 

For each edition we also catch up with the Supporters’ Trust, City Community Trust, the ECFC Women and Academy teams and the ECFC Museum, as well as with all of our regular feature writers who explore the world of ECFC, past, present and future! 

And of course, there is the Scout Report, which provides all the key information you need to know about the opposition ahead of kick-off.

Priced at just £5 for the 84-page perfectly bound programme, The Grecian aims to bring all fans that little bit closer to life at the club in extraordinary times and can be purchased directly from the club shop online by clicking here.

Season ticket holders can also download a free digital copy of the programme from Match Day Info… if you have not done this before, simply click heresign up and use your season ticket number as a redeem voucher.

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Andy's Man Club 

For Saturday's match we are proud to be partnering with Andy's Man Club Exeter to raise awareness of male mental health during these unprecedented time. 

An Andy's Man Club spokesperson said, “ANDYSMANCLUB are delighted to be partnering with Exeter City and Newport County to put a spotlight on mental health during their fixture on April 24th.

"Both clubs are long-term supporters of mental health and with recent events that have taken place both in and out of the world of sport, it is a hugely important time to raise awareness of Mental Health and the support that is available to people.”

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In mid-2016, nine men met in a small room in the archetypal Yorkshire town of Halifax with a simple aim of talking through their issues and helping each other deal with their mental health. All in attendance were agreed there was a magic in that room that had to be shared. This was the start of a movement that has grown faster than anyone first involved could have ever imagined. Fast forward 5 years and ANDYSMANCLUB now has groups at over 40 locations across three constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

ANDYSMANCLUB takes its name from Andrew Roberts, a man who sadly took his own life aged 23 in early 2016. Andy’s family had no inkling that he was suffering or struggling to the extent that he would do this, and as a result looked deeper into male suicide and men’s mental health. They soon discovered that male suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50, with Male Mental Health surrounded by well-ingrained cultural stigma in the UK. Elaine Roberts and Luke Ambler are Andy’s Mum and Brother-in-Law, together they came up with the idea of ANDYSMANCLUB, a group where men aged 18 and above can speak openly about their mental health in a judgment-free, non-clinical environment. Groups now operate nationwide and are completely volunteer-led, with the vast majority of group facilitators having first interacted with ANDYSMANCLUB when they came through the door as a service user. With the service used on a weekly basis by over 1,000 men, and an army of over 200 volunteers on board, the movement is continuing to grow on a week by week basis. Groups are available both in Exeter and in and around South Wales and are completely free to attend, details of how to attend are below.

To attend ANDYSMANCLUB, drop us an email - info@andysmanclub.co.uk.

Newport County's Last Fixture

Newport County 2 Crawley Town 0 | 20/04/21 | Sky Bet League Two

The Exiles picked up an important home win against in-form Crawley. Liam Shephard opened the scoring just after half time, and Tom Nichols was then sent off for Crawley in the 90th minute. Aaron Lewis then secured victory for the Welsh in the tenth minute of added on time. 

Previous Encounter

Newport County 1 Exeter City 1 | 16/02/21 | Sky Bet League Two

It was an unforgettable evening in South Wales for the Grecians as they clung on for a point after both Alex Hartridge and Ryan Bowman were sent off, either side of Bowman's first half goal.

Hartridge saw red after just eight minutes before Bowman put City ahead, but he was then dismissed for an elbow on the verge of half time. Despite an onslaught, it took Newport until the 88th minute to level as they finally broke down a resistant City backline. 

 

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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: City 0 Newport County 0

Will Barrett reports as City record a third straight 0-0 draw

24 April 2021

Sponsored by

A critical week for Exeter City ended in a third successive goalless draw in the league for the first time since 1986, as neither side could make their moments count in this crucial Sky Bet League Two encounter at St James Park.

Matt Taylor made four changes from the trip to Forest Green, with Jake Caprice, Pierce Sweeney, Jack Sparkes, and Nigel Atangana coming into the starting line-up.  

For the visitors, Michael Flynn named an unchanged side from Newport County’s win over Newport County, which included former City captain Scot Bennet in centre of the Exile’s defence.  

Ahead of the game, it was hard not to imagine the volume of the Park had this fixture been played in normal circumstances, and whilst the noise within the stadium was nothing in comparison, both benches were in good voice straight from the off.  

On the pitch, City showed their intent within the first five minutes, with Matt Jay and Caprice getting in behind the Newport backline, and whilst the move offered some early encouragement it would prove to be a frustrating afternoon at the attacking end of the pitch for the Grecians.  

Half-chances followed from Sparkes and Ryan Bowman, whilst Archie Collins almost snuck City into the lead when his curling cross evaded everyone and dipped just wide of the County goalpost.  

City were making much of the running, but Newport looked dangerous in spells, particularly when Aaron Lewis was involved, and in the 19th minute the right-wing-back skewed a shot just wide of the City goal.  

With the play switching from one end to the other, Bowman got to the by-line and crossed to Jake Taylor, whose header just evaded the on-rushing Matt Jay as the ball was gathered gratefully by Tom King in the County goal.  

Approaching the 30-minute mark, Newport almost found some success from a corner as Lewis Collins headed just wide of Jokull Andressons upright. Moments later, Collins was involved again and this time his effort took a full stretch from Andresson to deny the visitors an opening goal.  

At the other end, City responded with a threatening move of their own. Good work from Sparkes down the left-hand side saw the ball fed to Taylor in the centre of the box, but the Skipper couldn’t quite control his effort and poked the ball just wide. 

As the clock ran down on the half, Newport created the best chance of the opening spell when Josh Sheehan took advantage of a gap in the City defence and his drilled effort forced Andresson down to his right-hand-side once again to keep the scores level going in to half-time.   

The second half opened with the same energy, with both Exeter and Newport’s Collins having attempts in the opening exchanges, yet despite working hard, clear cut opportunities would remain limited for the home side.  

City’s best period came just before the hour, when a volleyed effort from Sparkes kicked of a spell of play that ended with Caprice’s cross being headed over the bar and into the Big Bank by Bowman.  

That was to be Caprice’s last action of the game, as Matt Taylor made his first change of the afternoon with Josh Key coming on to make his 39th league appearance of the season, and the young-full back was soon in the action, taking on defenders and trying to make something happen from his side of the pitch.  

A slight tactical change from the manager just after the hour mark saw Taylor drop into midfield alongside Collins, with MJ dropping in behind the front two as Ben Seymour replaced Atangana.  

With this being a must-not-lose game for either side it perhaps wasn’t surprising to see tensions flare as Sheehan came the worse off in a 50/50 with Taylor, although it was somewhat perplexing to see the City skipper booked by Robert Lewis for his part in the incident.  

The resulting free-kick was well held by Andresson, and with City heading down the other end, Key once again looked to force the issue, first with a fierce cross that flashed across the six-yard-box, and then with a left-footed effort that rose high over the goal.   

Further changes then followed for City, as Taylor and McArdle made way for Alex Fisher and Randell Williams, who almost immediately drove at the at the Newport backline, but he couldn’t find the end product to match the endeavour.  

As the game wore on, Newport – who had made no changes of their own – grew in stature and whilst City’s defence were equal to the challenges given to them, Newport’s Collins should have ended things when he was put through on goal in the 82nd minute but faced with Andresson his close-range effort went wide of the target.  

Then in the final seconds of the game, the ball fell at the feet of Padraig Amond just outside the six-yard-box, but once again City’s Icelandic ‘keeper was equal to the task as his faint touch slowed the ball enough for Alex Hartridge to get back and clear.  

The result leaves City just three points shy of the final play-off spot, and whilst the Grecians will now have to rely on other results to squeeze back into promotion contention, the first task at hand will be Tuesday’s match with Grimsby Town at St James Park.  

Exeter City: Andresson, Caprice (Key, 55), Sweeney, McArdle (Fisher, 78), Hartridge, Sparkes, Taylor (Williams, 78), Atangana (Seymour, 62), A. Collins, Jay, Bowman.  

Subs not used: Maxted, Parkes, Page.  

Newport County: King, Lewis, Shephard, Bennett, Demetriou, Haynes, Labadie, Sheehan, Hartigan, L. Collins (Maynard, 86), Amond.  

Subs not used: Townsend, Dolan, Gambin, Telford, Ellison, Ledley.  

Referee: Robert Lewis 

Assistants: John Flynn and Ravel Cheosiaua 

Fourth Official: Sam Allison  

 

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