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Match preview: Willand Rovers v Exeter City

3 January 2017

City take on Western League side in Devon Bowl quarter-final

First team coach Mel Gwinnett says he is expecting a good game of football when Exeter City travel to Willand Rovers in the Devon St Luke’s Bowl on Wednesday night.

The quarter-final tie kicks-off at 7.30pm and City will be taking a squad made up of mixture of players who have been on the fringes of the first team in recent weeks along with second-year youth team scholars.

Mel, who will be in the dugout at Silver Street tomorrow night, knows what to expect from the Western League side as he has seen them play a few times.

“They are a good side,” he said. “I know their manager Russell Jee and I only live a few 100 yards down the road from the ground so I occasionally go along to their games in midweek if we haven’t got a match and they have. I know they play good football and it will be an interesting match.”

City have not won the Devon St Luke’s Bowl for a number of years but will be one of the favourites for the competition this season. 

This is because fellow Football League rivals Plymouth Argyle are already out of the competition having lost to Exmouth Town in the first round and City’s under-18s have shown they are a talented side having performed well in the FA Youth Cup this season. 

The St Luke’s Bowl is probably not top on the list of priorities for City this season, but Mel says every game is important and there is the bigger picture to think about as well. 

“You may think that it is low down on the list of priorities, but every game is important,” he said. “There are players who need games to keep them ready for the first team. Connor (Riley-Lowe) was an example of that at Newport County. We needed to keep him ready because these players never know when they might be called upon for the first team. So the game is important in terms of the competition, but it is also important in terms of that bigger picture.

Speaking about his squad, Mel added: “It will be a team made up of players who are on the fringes of the first team and second-year YTS (youth team scholar) players. 

“It will be a chance for fans to come and see some of the players Paul (Tisdale) has at his disposal and some of the talent young players coming through the system.”

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