Exeter City will be aiming to get the New Year off to the perfect start when they visit Swindon Town on Tuesday afternoon.
The Grecians have returned to form at the just the right time, claiming the final play-off berth going into 2019, after winning three of their previous four league games.
Matt Taylor’s side face a Swindon side in 14th place and without victory in their last four games with their past three games ending in stalemate.
Here’s your complete lowdown on City’s first opponent of 2019:
- Founded: 1879
- Nickname: The Robins
- Honours: Football League third tier title: 1995/96. Football League fourth tier titles: 1985/86 & 2011/12. League Cup: 1968/69. Anglo-Italian Cup: 1969/70 . Anglo-Italian League Cup: 1968/69.
Originally donning black and white colours during the club’s infancy in the late 19th century, Swindon swiftly changed their colours to red in the 1902/03 season, culminating in their new nickname ‘The Robins’.
Swindon’s first taste of major silverware came in 1969 after comfortably dispatching favourites Arsenal in the League Cup final with a 3-1 victory.
That cup triumph earned entry into the Anglo-Italian League Cup where they excelled just as well overseas with a 5-2 aggregate drubbing of AS Roma. Swindon then went one better by winning the Anglo Italian Cup the following season after thrashing Napoli 3-0.
Another first for the Wiltshire club came in 1993 as the Robins reached the promised land of top tier football and the Premier League, though they were instantly relegated.
Since the turn of the century, Swindon won the League Two championship in 2011/12.
The manager: Richie Wellens
Since their 2-0 away loss to Exeter in October, Swindon have dismissed manager Phil Brown and instantly installed the youthful Richie Wellens in his place.
The former Manchester United graduate has overseen three wins, three draws and three defeats preceding the following month and a half.
Wellen’s one and only foray into management, prior to Swindon, lasted just one season with Oldham as he failed to avoid the drop, as his former employers dropped down to League Two after finishing 21st.
The ground: The Energy Check County Ground
- Capacity: 15,547
- Year opened: 1896
- Address: The Energy Check County Ground, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 2ED
Formerly known simply as the County Ground after opening in 1896, the stadium has been the only home Swindon Town have taken residence in.
Like many other clubs, their record attendances have come through famous FA Cup ties down the years. In the case of the Robins, that was in the third round in 1972, when 32,000 people saw the club welcome Arsenal to the south west.
One to watch: Elijah Adebayo
Goals have been in scarce supply for a Swindon side who have only marginally averaged over a goal a game with 27 from 25, but Elijah Adebayo has been one of the most potent in the Robins forward line.
The exciting Fulham striker joined on loan at the beginning of the season and has five goals from 26 games in all competitions.
The promising 20 year-old stands tall at 6’4 and the Grecians will have to be wary of the towering forward.
Recent form guide
December has been a sorry month for Swindon who have won just one of six games (a 2-1 home victory against Newport on the 8th).
That was instantly followed up with a 2-1 defeat away to Grimbsy Town, before three successive draws petered out a poor run of form with a whimper.
The Robins are seven points and seven places adrift of 7th placed Exeter in the final play-off spot.
2017/18 season in review
- Position: League Two, 9th
- Top goalscorer: Luke Norris – 14 goals
- Average attendance: 6,436
Two wins and a draw from Swindon’s opening three games meant the club were the early pace-setters at the top of League Two, with September on the horizon.
Some patchy form over the course of the next three months meant the Robins failed to really cement a challenge near the higher echelons of the division.
David Flitcroft’s side briefly flirted with promotion throughout February with the club sitting in the play-off spots, though their promotion hopes were soon extinguished as Swindon’s form tailed off with just two league wins from the beginning of March until the end of the season.
Most recent meetings
Exeter City 2-0 Swindon Town (League Two – October 13, 2018)
Goals in either half from Jonathan Forte and Jayden Stockley as Exeter made it seven games undefeated and continued their promotion surge, sitting in second place.
Swindon enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and equalled the Grecians nine attempts on goal, but were made to pay for their profligacy from the hosts.
Exeter City 3-1 Swindon Town (League Two – March 24th, 2018)
A decisive six-pointer, promotion showdown between the two sides saw Exeter come out on top, as goals from Jake Taylor, Pierce Sweeney and Jayden Stockley consolidated the Grecians place in the play-off zone and moved them up to 5th.
The defeat for Swindon put a major dent in their own promotion prospects, with the Robins sitting 9th and six points adrift of the hosts.
Up next at St James Park:
City take on Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, March 2 in a 3pm kick-off. Ticket prices are cheaper in advance. Click here to buy online.