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Preview: Exeter City v Wycombe


Wycombe Wanderers hit the road for the second time in four days as they travel to Devon to face Exeter City at St. James Park in midweek.

It is also a second meeting with a side that fell through the League One trap door with the Blues last season. Whilst the Grecians have made an encouraging start to life back in League Two, there is precious little encouragement to be found from either performances or results for Chairboys. 187 loyalists made the trip to Whittingham Moor last weekend to see their side collapse to yet another defeat at the hands of Chesterfield.

If it wasn't already looking like a forlorn task at the kick-off, within ten minutes it certainly did as centre-half Leon Johnson trudged back to the dressing rooms to take an early bath after being sent-off for bringing down striker Marc Richards as he looked to run in goal. Stuart Lewis will be less than happy with his contribution to the proceedings with his wayward header causing the problem in the first place.

All too predictably the Wanderers fragile defence buckled under the pressure and within ten minutes had conceded twice. Had it not been for the hosts' profligacy the game could have been done and dusted by half-time. The visitors did improve after the break although they again needed an opponent to find the net with defender Neal Trotman's comedy slice bemusing most people in the ground if only amusing the Chairboys in the corner.

They say it's not the despair but the hope that kills you and with the Blues back in the game it was almost inevitable that the next goal would come from the home side, and it arrived five minutes from time when Anthony Stewart was beaten in the air by Sam Hird to condemn the visitors to back-to-back away defeats. The last time Wycombe kept a clean sheet away from home was in April 2011 in a goal-less draw with Torquay United at Plainmoor.

Manager Gary Waddock made two changes to his starting line-up last time out with loan defender Adam Thompson returning at right-back. That saw Charles Dunne switch back to his preferred position at left-back with midfielder Jesse Kewley-Graham dropping to the bench. Striker Dean Morgan was handed his full debut after signing a four-month deal last week. He came in for the injured Dennis Oli.

The biggest surprises came on the bench where goalkeeping coach Lee Harrison was named instead of the recalled Matt Ingram. There was no place for defenders Grant Basey or Dave Winfield nor strikers Matt McClure and Richard Logan. Defender Anthony Stewart was recalled to the squad after recovering from a dead leg whilst teenager striker Olly Taylor was a surprise inclusion and was given his debut as a second half substitute.

Exeter City have been something of a shining light for fan owned clubs having won back-to-back promotions from the Conference to League One and then stayed there for three seasons before eventually succumbing to the dreaded drop. Manager Paul Tisdale's sartorial style may make plenty of headlines but his tenure has been remarkably impressive given his previous lack of experience and the relatively small budget at his disposal. He provides a stability that could be enough to take them to a top seven finish this season.

The sides have faced each other in three of the past four seasons with the Blues doing the double last season thanks to a hat-trick from loan striker Marcello Trotta in a 3-1 win at Adams Park on Boxing Day and a brace from loan striker Paul Hayes in the return fixture at St. James Park in March. Since that glorious evening the Wanderers have won just one of their 14 league matches.

There was a 1-1 draw in Devon back in October 2009 when an injury-time equaliser from striker Barry Corr cancelled out Matt Harrold's first-half penalty. The previous April over 8,000 fans saw the home side record a 1-0 victory courtesy of one-time target Matt Gill's strike midway through the second half. That remains the Grecians only victory over Wycombe in seven meetings between the two sides.

Gary Waddock remains without a quartet of players for the next encounter. Midfielder Matt Bloomfield faces at least another week out with a groin problem whilst midfielder Sam Wood and striker Dennis Oli face another six weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament and knee damage respectively. Defender Marvin McCoy is at least nine weeks away from a return after damaging ankle ligaments and fracturing his fibula. Leon Johnson is suspended which is likely to see Stewart keep his place alongside Gary Doherty in the heart of the defence. The likely line-up is as follows...

Nikki Bull

Adam Thompson - Anthony Stewart - Gary Doherty - Charles Dunne

Joel Grant - Matt Spring - Stuart Lewis - Matt Parsons

Dean Morgan - Jo Kuffour

Subs: Matt Ingram, Danny Foster, Dave Winfield, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Gareth Ainsworth, Lee Angol, Olly Taylor

Exeter City have made a promising start to life back in League Two, winning four, drawing one and losing one of their opening six games of the new campaign. Their stand-out performance came in a 4-2 victory at Oxford United ten days ago. They have been knocked out of both the League Cup and Football League Trophy but are unlikely to be too troubled by that and could even go top of the table should they beat the Blues and results elsewhere go their way.

Manager Paul Tisdale has a doubt over striker Guillem Bauza who missed the 1-1 draw with York City at St James Park at the weekend. He picked up a knock in training last week and wasn't risked. Striker Jamie Cureton did recover from a knock to play just over an hour against the Ministermen. Striker Alan Gow has missed the last two games with a thigh strain and won't be involved. The Grecians are likely to stick with the same starting eleven which was...

Artur Krysiak

Kevin Amankwaah - Danny Coles Pat Baldwin - Craig Woodman

Liam Sercombe - Scott Bennett - Matt Oakley - Arron Davies

Jamie Cureton - John O'Flynn

Subs: Rhys Evans, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Steve Tully, Tommy Doherty, Jimmy Keohane, Elliot Chamberlain, Elliott Frear.


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 20th place with 4 points from 5 games and Exeter in 4th spot with 13 points from 6 games.


Wycombe's Away Record (All competitions)...Won 1 - Drawn 0 - Lost 3

Exeter's Home Record (All competitions)........Won 1 - Drawn 1 - Lost 3


Exeter's last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Accrington (A)............Won 3-0

Lg2: Burton (H)..................Won 3-0

JPT: Aldershot (H)...............Lost 0-0 (3-4 on pens)

Lg2: Oxford (A)..................Won 4-2

Lg2: York (H)....................Drew 1-1


Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: York (A).......................Won 3-1

Lg2: Gillingham (H)...............Lost 0-1

Lg2: Southend (A)................Lost 0-1

Lg2: Cheltenham (H)...........Drew 1-1

Lg2: Chesterfield (A)............Lost 1-3


Exeter Goal Stats (8 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 13...Cups: 1...Total: 14

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 7.....Cups: 2...Total: 9

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 4.....Cups: 1...Total: 5

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 4.....Cups: 2...Total: 6

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 2.....Cups: 1...Total: 3


Wycombe Goal Stats (6 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 5...Cups: 0...Total: 5

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 7...Cups: 1...Total: 8

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 4...Cups: 0...Total: 4

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 5...Cups: 1...Total: 6

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 0...Cups: 0...Total: 0


Exeter's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Jamie Cureton.........5

John O'Flynn............4

Alan Gow.................2

Scot Bennett............1

Arron Davies............1

Guillem Bauza..........1


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

OG..........................2

Stuart Beavon..........1

Matt Bloomfield.........1

Sam Wood...............1


Exeter Shooting (Top-3) - League Only

Jamie Cureton......8 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork

Arron Davies........5 on-target...6 off-target...0 against woodwork

Liam Sercombe....5 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - League Only

Joel Grant............1 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork

Matt Spring..........1 on-target...3 off-target...0 against woodwork

Richard Logan......2 on-target...0 off-target...0 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only - (Adjusted to include York)

Exeter..........33 on target...28 off target...1 against w'work (Rank-15)

Wycombe.......9 on target...15 off target...0 against w'work (Rank-24)


Previous Meetings

In 7 previous meetings there have been 3 wins for Wycombe, 1 for Exeter and 3 draws.

At St James Park the tally is 1 win for the Grecians, 1 for the Blues and 1 draw.

2000/01 FLT: Wycombe 1 Exeter 0

2008/09 Lg2: Wycombe 1 Exeter 1

2008/09 Lg2: Exeter 1 Wycombe 0

2009/10 Lg1: Exeter 1 Wycombe 1

2009/10 Lg1: Wycombe 2 Exeter 2

2011/12 Lg1: Wycombe 3 Exeter 1

2011/12 Lg1: Exeter 1 Wycombe 3


The Man In The Middle

Tuesday's referee is Lee Collins who was promoted to the National List in 2011. Last season he took charge of Wycombe's 3-2 home win over Chesterfield. During the current campaign he's issued 1 red and 8 yellow cards in 4 games.


Predictions

Benny: Exeter 3 Wycombe 0

Len: Exeter 1 Wycombe 0

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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 17 2012

Time: 12:06AM

 

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