Midfielder looking forward to London Road clash
Grecians midfielder Matt Grimes is confident that the FA Cup could prove to be a leveller when Exeter City visit London Road.
Ahead of the visit to Peterborough in the first round of the FA Cup with Budweiser, spirits are high in the camp after a good display – even if ultimately a defeat – away at Portsmouth last weekend. And the 18-year-old is upbeat about City’s chances at causing an upset when they face the Posh.
On paper, the draw is about as daunting as Exeter could have hoped for. But the City team are savouring the prospect of visiting League 1 side Peterborough in the hope of getting another fine result on the road to add to the collection for this season.
“I think we’re all relishing in the fact that we’ve drawn Peterborough, who are flying in League 1,” said Grimes. “I think if we’d got someone in League 2, then it would have been anyone’s game – but it’s the FA Cup, so it’s anyone’s game anyway.
“We’re going into the weekend as underdogs and we’re relishing in that fact. We could do well – if we play like we did against Portsmouth, then anything could happen. I thought we moved the ball really well and that we were really good on the day. The lads are really looking forward to it.
“We’ve had a couple of really good results and performances away from home. We’ve also had a very good couple of performances and results at home as well, so I don’t think you could say we have more of a chance just because we’re playing away. But the lads will feel confident that we’re going into their stadium on their terms, and we’ll give it a good go.”
Grimes’ performances this season – including his 90 minutes against Portsmouth – have shown a remarkable rise for the youngster, who a year ago this week was captaining Exeter in an under-18 Devon Derby against their counterparts Plymouth Argyle.
For the first-year pro, it is an exciting prospect to potentially be involved in his first FA Cup fixture – in particular because of the so-called ‘magic’ that has led to countless unthinkable results throughout the previous 132 inceptions of the competition.
“I’ve played in the FA Youth Cup which was a good competition to play in, but I don’t think it really has the same feel as the FA Cup,” he continued. “I’m really looking forward to it.
“I went to Plymouth against Dorchester last year – Gossy lives with me and he scored the goal, so that was just a brilliant feeling. They’re just massive games and no-one’s a favourite in the FA Cup. They’ll have a bit of an advantage being at home, but I don’t think that really makes a difference.
“We played Manchester United away from home and drew nil-nil there, and they came back to our place. That was a long time now, but it just shows that anything can happen in the FA Cup. I think we could give it a good go this year.”