Exeter City Women begin their home fixtures for the new season with the visit of Plymouth Argyle in the League Cup opening round, the Pilgrims first visit to the Exwick Sports Hub since the team’s relocation in 2021.
Both teams enjoyed mixed fortunes on the opening day, City recording a 5-1 victory at Bridgwater United whilst Argyle had a tough afternoon as Billericay Town left Devon with a 6-0 win.
Pilgrims Manager Ryan Perks has a new look for his 2023/24 team. Kayleigh Lane and Amber Pollock were high profile releases over the summer, whilst Zoe Cunningham, Beth Ireland, Georgia Wilson and Rosie Train all departed to leaving significant holes to fill in the Pilgrims squad.
Ellie Sara and Jade Widdows have been recruited in forward positions from Bridgwater United and Moneyfields respectively, whilst Becky Dandridge was quickly signed following her early season departure from the Grecians.
The two teams met back in April as a late Rosie Train penalty cancelled out a Jenna Markham goal in the Devon County Cup Final, Mollie Taylor sealing a City win in the penalty shoot out. With eight players from that evening’s Argyle squad now departed, three of which are now playing for the Grecians, it is difficult to draw too many comparisons from that game to the one this weekend.
Whilst Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley will not view the League Cup as one of this season’s priorities, there is nothing like a Derby to intensify the focus on a game. With the Pilgrims coming off the back of a heavy defeat and being the higher league team, the pressure will be off the Grecians as they will look to progress in the League Cup and increase the momentum to their season.