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League 2 teams 2015/16 – Part 1 (A-D)

26 May 2015

A look around the division next season

The Sky Bet League 2 play-off final on Saturday marked the completion the fourth tier for another year.

18 teams – including the Grecians – stayed put in the division, while two entered from the Vanarama Conference and four parachuted in from League 1.

That means that six have left the fourth tier, for next year at least – Burton Albion, Shrewsbury Town and Bury were promoted automatically, Southend United fought off the opposition to win the play-offs, and Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers dropped through the trapdoor into the Conference.

Here is a look at the first batch of Exeter City’s divisional rivals for the 2015/16 Sky Bet League 2 season…



Manager – John Coleman
Stadium – Crown Ground (5,057)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 270 miles
2014/15 position – 17th
Exeter City results 2014/15 – Home: L1-2; Away: W3-2
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 20/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 100/30

Odds of 100/1 to win the division next season make Stanley the least-likely team to lift the title, according to title sponsors Sky Bet.  If John Coleman’s men want to have any chance of a successful season, they will need to improve on the 77 goals conceded from 2014/15 – the worst defensive record in the division.



Manager – Neal Ardley
Stadium – Kingsmeadow (4,850)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 168 miles
2014/15 position – 15th
Exeter City results 2014/15 – Home: W3-2; Away: L1-4
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 9/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 11/2

15th position and 58 points in League 2 in 2014/15 was the Dons’ highest ever finish, pipping their 16th-place finish and 54 points which they accrued in their maiden Football League season in 2011/12.  With Barnet and Leyton Orient joining the division (from opposite directions), Wimbledon will be able to contest a four-team London mini-league along with Dagenham.



Manager – Martin Allen
Stadium – The Hive (5,233)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 209 miles
2014/15 position – 1st in Conference (promoted)
Exeter City results 2014/15 – n/a
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 5/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 9/1

Current Bees manager Martin Allen guided Gillingham to the League 2 title in 2012/13, the same year that Barnet exited the division in the opposite direction.  Two years later, he guided the North London club to the Conference title, securing silverware on the final day – but odds of 22/1 for the League 2 title this term suggests the ambition will be to consolidate their League status.



Manager – Darrell Clarke
Stadium – Memorial Stadium (11,916)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 81 miles
2014/15 position – 2nd in Conference (promoted)
Exeter City results 2014/15 – n/a
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 11/4
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 14/1

After getting relegated on the final day of 2013/14, Rovers left it until as late as possible to secure promotion back to the League at the first attempt – their play-off final with Grimsby went to a dramatic penalty shoot-out at Wembley.  Their reintroduction to the fourth tier gives Exeter supporters another West Country derby to look forward to.



Manager – Richard Money
Stadium – Abbey Stadium (9,617)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 252 miles
2014/15 position – 19th
Exeter City results 2014/15 – Home: D2-2; Away: W2-1
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 8/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 8/1

Cambridge will do well to replicate the drama of last season again this year – by overcoming Fleetwood, Mansfield and Luton in the FA Cup, Richard Money’s men then hosted Manchester United in the fourth round.  A gallant goalless draw at home against the Red Devils earned them a jackpot replay at Old Trafford.  Sky Bet fancy that the U’s are just as likely to get promoted as relegated.



Manager – Keith Curle
Stadium – Brunton Park (16,981)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 347 miles
2014/15 position – 20th  
Exeter City results 2014/15 – Home: W2-0; Away: W3-1
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 4/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 10/1

Keith Curle’s players ultimately proved to have enough downstairs to secure survival (despite what his late-season rant may have implied).  It was a tough year from the off for the Cumbrians – they became the last team in the division to record a win, when they scored a 1-0 home win against Tranmere Rovers in late September.  A particularly short retain list means this summer will require a lot of rebuilding.



Manager – Mark Yates
Stadium – Broadfield Stadium (5,996)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 188 miles
2014/15 position – 22nd in League 1 (relegated)
Exeter City results 2014/15 – n/a
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 4/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 12/1

Crawley and Exeter have never before met in the Football League – and the Sussex side have lost eight and drawn three of the meetings between the clubs in all competitions, and have never registered a single win.  Former Cheltenham boss Mark Yates is the man charged with stopping the rot at Broadfield Stadium, having been appointed when John Gregory stepped aside this summer.



Manager – Wayne Burnett
Stadium – Victoria Road (6,078)
Distance from St James Park (by road) – 209 miles
2014/15 position – 14th 
Exeter City results 2014/15 – Home: W2-1; Away: W2-1
Sky Bet promotion odds 2015/16 – 20/1
Sky Bet relegation odds 2015/16 – 100/30

Despite entering a ninth season in the Football League, and coming in off the back of another solid mid-table finish, the Daggers continue to attract the position as favourites for the drop, as odds of 100/30 for relegation suggests.  Wayne Burnett’s side were one of three teams which the Grecians did the double over in 2014/15, winning by a 2-1 scoreline on both occasions.


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