Exeter City v Crawley Town: Match preview

Robbie Simpson looks for early chance to bounce back against Crawley Town

Robbie Simpson is eyeing up an early chance to bounce back against Crawley Town this week as Exeter City look to put the disappointment of Saturday’s loss to Hartlepool United behind them.

The Grecians go into Tuesday night’s game at St James Park (kick-off, 7.45pm) having surrendered a one-goal advantage at home to Hartlepool United.

City played well for the first 70 minutes of the game and Simpson says there were plenty of good signs from the team.

“I think first half we were very lively,” he said. “I thought we kept the ball well and we kind of carried that on from Tuesday night (when City knocked Championship side Brentford out of the EFL Cup).

“So, I’d say the first half was definitely a positive. Liam (McAlinden) getting his goal was good as well – I’m sure he will be happy with that. I say those would be the positives, but we have got to learn quickly to put these little bit of naivety out of our games.”

City had plenty of first team players out for the match against Hartlepool, with Troy Brown, Troy Archibald-Henville, Ryan Harley, Matt Oakley, Lee Holmes and Joel Grant all out injured and David Wheeler away for personal reasons.

However, Simpson was not offering that as an excuse for the defeat.

“It is alright saying we are naïve, because we are a young team, but we have got to learn quickly,” he said. “I don’t think they (Hartlepool) had much at all and it was just sloppy play from a throw-in to get outnumbered and not track runners.”
“It shouldn’t happen,” added Simpson. “We got caught against Blackpool with a throw as well and we actually worked on it the day before the Hartlepool United game. We worked on defensive throw-ins down, especially down this left-hand side. So it is really, really disappointing to concede a goal like that.”

Speaking about the match against Crawley, Simpson added: “That is a positive having another game quickly, especially here at St James Park. It is a big game for us now. We need the points.”

Tickets for the Crawley Town match, which is being sponsored by Crealy, are still available and can be purchased online at ecfc.co.uk/tickets, in person at the club reception at St James Park or over the phone (dial 01392 411243 and press option 3).