Exeter City (H) Match Preview

It feels like this week has been the perfect remedy for the Us. After an exceptionally tough run of league games, it feels like we’ve been hard done by with our 1 point to show for some (at times) very good showings against the league’s top clubs. This week though, via its two cup ties,  has given the squad a break from league duties and disappointments from previous results. 

Whilst we’re not fans of the Pizza trophy and what it represents, Tuesday’s game gave Bonner the chance to rotate and get minutes into others. This could be key given next week sees the Us in double game week action again, and with games of some significance. 

There was plenty of joy to take from Tuesday; take a bow Big Mac for a string of decent saves including a penalty, great to see Lankester start and play 70 minutes and who doesn’t just love seeing Barry Corr do the post match interviews?! The best moment for us was the return from the bench of Shilow Tracey. Tracey’s 30 minute appearance was capped by him scoring the type of goal you love to see pacey wingers score. Pouncing on indecision from a defender, nipping in behind, dinking a lob over a stranded keeper, chef kiss. Such has been Tracey’s progress this season his absence over the last couple of games has been truly missed. Perhaps Exeter may be too early for a start but, Tracey’s return asks questions over line-up with Smith playing himself into a position where he surely couldn’t be dropped.

Listen to our Exeter preview and Sunderland review in our latest pod

Takeaways from Bonner’s presser

Bonner doesn’t do cup pressers, so Gary Waddock briefed us…

  • Game comes too soon for Lloyd Jones.
  • Happy as every member of squad has had game time ahead of busy Xmas
  • Exeter did double on us last season and we know how good they are!
  • Preparations have been more difficult due to the replay situation.

Expected line-up

The Okedina and Masterson partnership didn’t do themselves too many favours on Tuesday, so we reckon Iredale continues at CB as Jones is still out.

Will we see Wes? Bonner said post Northampton that Wes isn’t playing Cup games this year, so I guess that’s a no until we draw Norwich in the 3rd round. 

Mitov, Williams, Dunk, Iredale, Masterson, Digby, May, Smith, Weir, Brophy, HMS Ironside

Opposition preview

Ever get the feeling that we’re always playing Exeter? That’s because they are the side we have played the most. The Us and the Grecians have met  a staggering 60 times. Cambridge winning 28 and 14 draws. 

Exeter always seem to be in and around the summit of League Two and this season is no different with Exeter currently sat third. Incidentally, Northampton (now second in L2) were third when we played them in round 1, is this a good omen?

Who is their player to watch?

Exeter have a strong squad but the most obvious threat comes through Matt Jay. 

Jay plays both up-top and at number 10. He has scored 10 goals in 18 League One games this term to add to the 20 goals he struck in the last campaign. The 25-year-old has been the subject of transfer speculation ahead of the January transfer window. Jay also hasn’t scored for a few games, so is he due?

Who’s in the dugout?

Another Matt. Matt Taylor is in his first managerial job, having taken over Exeter in 2018. Taylor was a former player for Exeter, and was their center half at Wembley when they beat us in the 2008 Conference Play-Off Final. What a dick. 

What’s their recent form like?

Decent enough to propel them into the top 3, however the last couple of games have dropped off slightly, having said that, Exeter have only lost twice so far this season. They laboured to a win over 10-man Carlisle, then took a very surprising beating at Luke Hannant’s Colchester and a draw last time out at Rochdale. 

W-W-W-L-D

Any ex-United players?

The enigma, Jevani Brown.

On his day, he’s terrific and gave us some bright moments in a rather bleak L2 campaign. His day however was never consistent enough and there were rumours of him being a bad egg. It looks like United selling Brown to Colchester for a rumoured 300k was a fantastic piece of business with Jevani being far from a hit at Colchester. John McGreal dubbed Jevani the “hottest property in League Two” when he signed him in the summer of 2019. It was long before Jevani was missing a panenka penalty against Spurs. Jump to 1.22 of the below video for a sweet reminder…

Last time out

Ah, the run-in to the 2020/21 season. United had just come through difficult games against Tranmere, Morecambe, Carlisle and FGR with some excellent points returns. Exeter were hunting a play-off spot for themselves and dished out a spectacular beating to the Us. Watching the below got me nostalgic for the Wes/Boateng partnership…

A matchday album to listen to

Jelly Cleaver ‘The Forever Presence’ EP

South London guitarist, activist, producer, and singer-songwriter Jelly Cleaver and her debut EP with her group “The Forever Presence”, a group which features members of Levitation Orchestra and Steam Down.

In the excitement and movement of the London jazz scene, the EP takes the neglected elements of ballads and beauty, allowing other emotions to enter the music. The ballad is a timeless form in jazz history explored by all the greats, but it’s added to with subtle modern techniques to reflect our timeless but modern problems.

The UTAS team’s terrible Moosenet predictions

Jordan: 2-1, Smith

Julian: 2-0, Ironside

Tom: 1-3

Owen: 1-0, Smith 

From the archive

Fun fact, at my first ever Cambridge game, I got whacked in the face by a wayward Steve Butler shot. As a Steve Butler fan I just had to dig this one out of the archive. Butler scores all 5 away to Exeter. During a six game spell at the end of the 93-94 season Cambridge United’s Steve Butler scored 13 goals, including three hat-tricks.  This was the highlight, the most goals ever scored by a CUFC player in a single game.

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