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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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29 December 2023 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

📝 Match Preview: Portsmouth (H)

All you need to know ahead of Friday's match at SJP!

29 December 2023

Exeter City are quickly back in action on Friday as we welcome League leaders Portsmouth to St James Park for a 7:45pm kick-off.

City put an end to a 13 match streak without a League win on Tuesday afternoon, putting in a huge shift to beat Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 thanks to Sonny Cox's goal and Vil Sinisalo's penalty heroics at the death and will be looking to build on this when top-of-the-table Portsmouth come to Exeter.

Pompey have been in fantastic form this season, but come into the match on the back of defeat against Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day but will prove a very strong test for City.

Tickets have sold well for the match so far, with all seats SOLD OUT, there is still standing room on the Big Bank so book early to avoid missing out!

Gary Caldwell's thoughts

Speaking after the win over Wycombe Wanderers, Manager Gary Caldwell said: "This is just a start and we have to build on it on Friday night.

"This stadium when it is full and positive and excited is an incredible place to play. It's under the lights which will be a fantastic occasion to play against a team at the top of the League - we are doing everyhting we can to give the supporters what they want and it took everything on Tuesday and we need the same again on Friday night.

"We can still make this a very successful season."

Vil Sinisalo's thoughts

On Friday, City take on table topping Portsmouth and it will be another huge test, but Vil feels that the team just need to build on Tuesday's performance.

"It doesn't get any easier! We are looking forward to it after today. Why can't we go and replicate something similar to Tuesday and start looking up the league and not worry about the teams below us.

"It's a funny league, anyone can go anywhere and get points and beat anyone. If you are not on your game you will lose. I'm sure there will be a spring in our step after Tuesday's win so we can't wait!" 

Hear more from Super Sinisalo ⬇️

Match Tickets

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Limited tickets remain in the Thatchers Cider Big Bank with seating SOLD OUT for the match! Book in advance to avoid missing out!


Admission prices 

Big Bank     Nevada Construction/Optimising IT    
Ticket Type Advance Gate Ticket Type Advance Gate
Adult £20 £22 Adult £27 £28
Senior £17 £19 Senior £24 £25
Young Adult 18-23 £17 £19 Young Adult 18-23 £24 £25
Under-18 £8 £10 Under-18 £13 £14
Wheelchair Area £17 £19 Wheelchair Area £24 £25
Junior Grecians   --- Junior Grecians   ---

The Kit

City will be in their traditional home kit for this match.


How to follow

If you can't join us at SJP, you can follow all the action on iFollow. Watch LIVE for just £10! Click here to grab a pass.


We will also be proving live coverage on our Twitter and Facebook pages and will have reaction from Gary Caldwell and a player after the match!

Exeter City on social media

Key Timings

  • 5:45pm: Players start to arrive and are happy to sign autographs or pose for selfies with you. Why not tweet your picture #SemperFidelis or on our other social media platforms.
  • 6pm: Hospitality areas are in full flow.
  • 6pm: Junior Grecian Zone available to all families (and everyone at half-time to catch the results or use the kiosk).
  • From 7pm: Watch out for engagement opportunities with your players in the Shop/Fan Zone!

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Support our local charities

When you buy a drink at the bar at SJP you pay a £1 returnable deposit for your cup. You can either return it for your deposit, keep it as a memento or you can return it to the bar or a collection bin to donate to charity!

Click here to find out more.

Centre Spot Bar

The Centre Spot Bar will be open from 5pm. After the match, draft pints of Tribute, Carlsberg and Thatchers are on offer for just £3.75 a pint

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The Centre Spot is also home to The Famous Exeter City Real Ale and Cider Emporium, offering a great selection of real ales and ciders.


Junior Grecians Zone

The Junior Grecians Zone is open to all from 6pm with plenty of activities for all our young Grecian supporters. 

In the Fan Zone, the bar and Kenniford Farm's van will also be open for refreshments and hot food.

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Club Shop

The club shop is open all day on matchdays and is stocked with all three of City's kits for the 23/24 season as well as a range of training gear and pocket money items.

Don't forget, Supporters' Trust members, Junior Grecians and season ticket holders save 10% on full prices purchases!


Jungle Path Kiosk

The kiosk on the Jungle Path will be selling pints of Thatchers Big Apple, cans of Thatchers Gold and bottle of Carlsberg, as well as all the usual half time snacks including pies, pasties and beverages. 

Food and Drink

One of the most important part of any match day! We have a wide range of hot and cold drinks and snacks available at the kiosk for away fans. CONTACTLESS CARD PAYMENT AVAILABLE!

In the Fan Zone, the bar and Kenniford Farm's van will also be open for refreshments and hot food.

Kiosk Menu

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Kenniford Farm will also be in the Fan Zone with their wide range of local produce including hog roast rolls and chips.

Match Day Programme

Make sure you grab special bumper edition of the Grecian at our two home matches next week!

The special 2-in-1 programme for our matches against Wycombe on Boxing Day and Portsmouth on December 29 has been specially created to work around Christmas print deadlines for our partners, Curtis Sport.

Taking inspiration from two holiday classics - The Holiday and Love Actually - the double-sided programme contains all the usual features and the eight stickers needed to add to your official Exeter City Sticker Album. 

The 64-page edition covering both matches, up from the usual 48, will cost just £4 and can be purchased from the club shop or around the ground on match day. 

Alternatively, you can pre-order direct from Curtis Sport here.If you've missed any programmes this season, you can also order direct from Curtis using the same link above.

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Previous Encounter

Portsmouth 1 Exeter City 0 (August 15, 2023) EFL Sky Bet League One

Exeter City lost for the first time this season as a single second half strike for Portsmouth separated the two sides, despite a strong defensive display.

Report an incident 

Football should be a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Please show your support in a positive way so we can all enjoy games over the festive period. 

We pride ourselves on the atmosphere we create on a match day, the passionate support from our fans is appreciated by everyone, particularly the players. We consistently win awards for our family engagement and supporter experience. Help us to keep it that way and please ensure that passion for your club does not develop into unwelcome behaviour.

Thank you for helping us to make sure everyone has an amazing matchday experience.

You can read all of the ground regulations here.

If you want to report and incident:

Please either contact your nearest steward, or text 'help ecfc' to 62277.

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Match Reports

📝 Match Report: City 0 Portsmouth 0

City draw against Portsmouth

29 December 2023

Exeter City secured a hard-earned point against table-topping opposition in Portsmouth. The game could have gone either way as both sides came close but in the end, defences came out on top and City continued to pick up their form.

Hot off the back of securing a win that had long eluded them, the Grecians faced table-topping Portsmouth. Pompey, having won three of their last five games, promised to be tough competition for a struggling Exeter City side. 

As the game drew out, it became clear that the match on the pitch was very different to how it promised to be on paper as City caused Portsmouth more problems than they had bargained for. Both defences stayed strong as Cheick Diabate won Player of the Match and the rest of the City backline put in an equally valiant performance.Tracks.png

Manager Gary Caldwell named one change from the side that beat Wycombe Wanderers three days prior, as Ilmari Niskanen came in to the starting XI to replace the injured Yanic Wildschut as he did in the first half of Tuesday’s game. City Academy graduate, Jack Sparkes started for the visitors. 

Jack Aitchison kicked City off, playing towards the St James Road end and quickly showed Portsmouth that the Grecians weren’t going to roll over as easily as the visitors had hoped. After an intricate back-heel from Niskanen to release Sonny Cox, Cox put the ball into the area – cleared by a towering Portsmouth defender before it could reach the looming figure of Dion Rankine. 

Portsmouth then enjoyed a period of sustained pressure for the next 15 minutes, showing the onlooking supporters exactly why they are first in the league, playing impressive passes across the park, met by equally impressive touches to bring them down. However, without making any particularly threatening opportunities, the visitors would have to step up a gear if they were to beat City’s solid backline.  

City came close halfway through the first half with a set-piece straight off the training ground. After Niskanen won City a corner, Tom Carroll stood over the dead ball with Rankine to his right. Rankine received the ball from Carroll, danced past one, then played the ball into Cox who was deeper into the box. Cox then played the ball back to Carroll who was in space by the corner flag, leaving Rankine to run untracked into the six-yard box. Carroll played an inch-perfect ball to the unmarked Rankine who headed just wide of the near-post. 

City then got their best chance of the first half as captain Reece Cole profited from Alex Robertson’s heavy touch on the edge of the Portsmouth area. Cole played the ball just ahead of Cox who was one-on-one with the keeper, Cox was unable to stretch enough to get decent contact on the ball, tapping the ball towards the keeper who gladly collected the ball as he sighed a sigh of relief. 

After three added minutes, the half time whistle blew to conclude 45 minutes of even football. Either side could have been ahead but neither looked all that likely to break the deadlock. 

The second half opened with fireworks, at one end Cheick Diabate came to the rescue, sliding in to block a close-range effort. At the other end, a goal-mouth scramble had the Big Bank on its toes before Portsmouth’s defence came out on top. The quality of the game then dropped for the next 10 minutes as the ball was ping-ponged around in the middle third. Neither team were able to grab hold of the game, although City had the best opportunity as Cox was fouled on the left-wing, allowing Cole to whip an unanswered cross into the back post from the free kick. 

Shortly after, Will Aimson made a seemingly fatal mistake but then quickly recovered with a stunning challenge. An unthreatening lofted ball came towards City’s number 4 who set himself up for a routine header. Unfortunately, Aimson miscued, and his clearance quickly became a through ball for the Portsmouth attacker who darted into the penalty area. Aimson matched all attackers for pace and stretched to soften the shot, allowing Vil Sinisalo to calmly claim the ball. 

Caldwell made his first substitution of the match midway through the second half, bringing on Kyle Taylor to replace Cox as Jack Aitchison moved to become the lone striker. City, now playing towards the Big Bank, were playing with confidence. This was against the script for Pompey supporters who had their hearts in their mouths as City had a penalty shout with Taylor falling to the ground in the area. The referee quietened any calls for a foul, although this did not dishearten the City supporters who continued to will the Grecians forward. 

Caldwell’s second substitution of the evening saw Harry Kite replace Niskanen, the former of whom becoming pivotal in an unfruitful, yet awe-inspiring City attack. Intricate play between Kite, Cole, Carroll, and Aitchison saw the ball move from just inside City’s half to the edge of the Portsmouth area. With the Big Bank sucking the ball in towards them, SJP witnessed a style of football more commonly associated with Camp Nou. One and two touch football, back heels and ball rolls, the entire Exeter City attack combined to put Cole in a decent shooting position outside the box, although he dragged his shot just wide. 

Caldwell then made his third and final substitution of the evening as James Scott’s fresh legs looked to break the deadlock. As the game entered additional time, Rankine won City a corner on the right wing as his cross was blocked. Cole delivered the cross to the near post although it was cleared and Portsmouth looked to quickly counter, stopped by City’s rock at the back, Diabate. 

The referee blew his whistle one last time and City’s last game of 2023 ended in a draw. A performance against table-topping opposition that should leave City supporters feeling content as they move into their next fixture against Reading on New Years Day.  

Exeter City's next home match is against Carlise United at 3pm on Saturday 6th January.

Exeter City: Sinisalo, Jules, Aimson, Hartridge, Carroll, Cole (C), Niskanen (, Cox (Taylor 69’), Rankine, Aitchison, Diabate. 

Subs: MacDonald, Scott, Kite, Sweeney, Richards. 

Portsmouth: Norris, Pack, Roberston, Bishop, Whyte, Rafferty, Shaughnessy, Raggett, Sparkes, Devlin, Lane. 

Subs: Schofield, Towler, Scully, Saydee, Morrell, Yengi, Kamara. 

Attendance: 8,322 (1,335 away).

Referee: Sunny Gill.

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Ticket News

🎟️ Tickets and Hospitality: Portsmouth (29/12/23)

Join us at the Park!

27 December 2023

Tickets are selling well for City's clash with Portsmouth at SJP on Friday, December 29 - 7:45pm

As of Tuesday, December 26 there is the following available:

  • 5 seats in the Optimising IT Adam Stansfield Stand
  • 1000 Thatchers Cider Big Bank
  • Nevada Construction Main Stand SOLD OUT

With City's home league matches providing popular in the home areas so far this season it's worth booking early to gain admission!

How to Buy



E-tickets are the easiest and quickest way to buy tickets for City matches. On ordering you can select to receive an e-ticket which will be emailed to your phone for you to show on the turnstile - no need to print!



Admission prices 

Big Bank     Nevada Construction/Optimising IT    
Ticket Type Advance Gate Ticket Type Advance Gate
Adult £20 £22 Adult £27 £28
Senior £17 £19 Senior £24 £25
Young Adult 18-23 £17 £19 Young Adult 18-23 £24 £25
Under-18 £8 £10 Under-18 £13 £14
Wheelchair Area £17 £19 Wheelchair Area £24 £25
Junior Grecians   --- Junior Grecians   ---

Junior Grecians Tickets 

Junior Grecians members get access to free match tickets when purchased alongside a paying adult. There are three family friendly areas available at St James Park, section E in the Nevada Construction Main Stand, in Block A of the Optimising IT Adam Stansfield Stand, and a section of the Thatchers Big Bank which is identified by the white barriers).

How to buy

To book Junior Grecians tickets, please make sure you are logged in first. Then select an Adult and either one or two Junior Grecian tickets to the basket. The system will validate you and change the Junior Grecians tickets to free.

Please note that this will not work if under-18 tickets are added, or tickets are selected in non-family areas. If you experience any issues, please email who can help.

Tickets are limited and it is advisable to book early. Click here to find out more about the Junior Grecians. 

Match Hospitality

Hospitality is proving popular for this festive fixture with under 30 places left. Please book as soon as you can to guarantee admission.

The ECFC Supporters Trust Suite

  • Access the lounge up to 3 hours prior to kick-off
  • Reserved seat in the main stand
  • Freshly prepared two course meal
  • Half-time tea and coffee
  • Complimentary matchday programme and teamsheet
  • Dedicated lounge host
  • Pre-match player interview
  • MOTM interview
  • MOTM presentation
  • Large screens showing Sky Sports and BT Sport
  • Premium cash bar with table service

How to Buy

Hospitality is available for just £70 per-person

For further information or to book tickets, please call our commercial team on 01392 411 243 Option 5, email, or online via

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