Following Saturday's match against Carlisle United, City have two more home games in the month of August. Here is a quick guide to our fixtures against Ipswich Town and Newport County AFC.
On Tuesday, August 14, the Grecians open their Carabao Cup campaign against Ipswich Town in the second home game of the season. Here’s everything you need to know about what to expect from the Blues.
Form: Championship side Ipswich have had a mixed pre-season, losing 2-0 to non-league Braintree Town and 2-1 to West Ham, but beating MK Dons, Barnet and Crawley Town all 1-0. They started the season with a 2-2 draw at home to newly promoted Blackburn Rovers.
Ones to watch
Gwion Edwards: Edwards joined Ipswich from Peterborough in July, and started off well in his pre-season debut against Crawley, displaying impressive pace. Edwards made 33 appearances in the 2017/18 season, scoring an seven goals, suggesting he’ll be a valuable signing for Ipswich this season.
Martyn Waghorn: The Blues’ summer 2017 signing Martyn Waghorn scored a spectacular 16 goals and 11 assists for Ipswich last season, making him a significant danger for opposition sides and prompting interest from a number of other Championship clubs. If he’s still at Ipswich by the time City take them on, he’s likely to be a threat at the front of everybody’s minds, owing not just to his impressive scoring record but also his all-round skill.
Manager: Paul Hurst
As of May 2018, the Blues have been led by ex-Rotherham defender and 2017/18 League One manager-of-the-year Paul Hurst. Hurst arrived in Ipswich after managing an impressive transformation at Shrewsbury, taking them from being at high risk of relegation at the start of the season to finish second in League One, their highest league finish in 27 years.
Hurst also has an impressive track record of promotions, having achieved them at non-league clubs Ilkeston Town and Boston as well as helping Grimsby return to League Two. His last game as Grimsby Town boss was a 0-0 draw at St James Park.
Last encounter: The Grecians last faced the Blues in the Carabao Cup back in August 2010 in a dramatic match that ended with Ipswich winning 3-2 in the ninth minute of extra time following an equaliser for City from Ryan Harley in the last ten minutes. The return of the Blues may be especially poignant for some City fans, as our last encounter with them was also the day City legend Adam Stansfield lost his battle with cancer, following a four-year career with the Grecians that spanned an impressive 142 appearances and 37 goals.
Newport County AFC
The Grecians’ final home match of August takes place on Saturday, August 18, against Newport County AFC. Here’s what to expect from the Exiles…
Form guide: Newport County have played an impressive seven pre-season friendlies ahead of the 2018/19 season, with varying results. They started pre-season with two draws, 2-2 against Championship side Bristol City and 1-1 against Undy Athletic, before losing two in a row to Chippenham Town and Swansea City, both with final scorelines of 1-0. The pre-season improved slightly from there, with a 0-0 draw against Pen-y-Bont and a 2-0 win against Hereford, before concluding with a 3-1 defeat to Stoke City Under-23s.
One to watch
Padraig Amond: 2017 signing Padraig Amond has made his mark on the goal as top scorer in the 2017/18 season, with 13 goals from 37 appearances and three goals during pre-season, against Bristol City, Stoke City under-23s and Hereford. Amond is a fan favourite at Newport, and has represented his native Ireland under-21s, winning four caps in 2008. Amond has already made it clear that he’s confident in the Exiles’ attacking ability, and will definitely be one for City to keep an eye on during the match on Saturday, August 18.
Manager: Michael Flynn
Newport County have been led by Michael Flynn since 2017, following an extensive playing career including four spells at Newport, where he made five appearances while first team coach in early 2017. Flynn was made permanent manager after helping the Exiles survive relegation as caretaker manager, a move which prompted his retirement from playing.
Last encounter: The last time the Exiles and the Grecians met was New Years’ Day 2018, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Newport, despite a spirited second half performance. The first half was lacking in chances for Exeter, who fell behind following a header from ‘one to watch’ Padraig Amond before equalising early in the second half. The Grecians fell behind again on 65 minutes, and despite a close shot in added time, the game ended with the Exiles winning 2-1.