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PREVIEW | Exiles host Exeter City in final fixture of year

28 December 2020

Newport County AFC will conclude the calendar year with a clash against Exeter City at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night.

County, who are without a win in four, still remain top of the Sky Bet League Two table after Saturday's 1-1 draw against Crawley Town. A win for either team in south Wales would do wonders for their promotion credentials.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this Sky Bet League Two fixture...

The opposition - Exeter City

Exeter City currently sit in seventh place in the Sky Bet League Two table after accumulating 31 points from 19 matches. The Grecians have won eight of their games, drawn seven times and lost on four occasions.

City started the season with two wins from their first six matches, but went unbeaten from the end of September until mid-November. The run took them up the table and into the play-off positions.

In recent weeks, Exeter have struggled for consistency with two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five.

Team news

Rotation was again employed by County manager Michael Flynn on Saturday afternoon, with Matty Dolan and Tristan Abrahams brought into the starting 11. One injury concern for the Exiles is goalkeeper Nick Townsend, who had to be replaced by Tom King on the stroke of half time.

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor has admitted that his players may have to be flexible with where they play after several first team players became unavailable for Tuesday, with Pierce Sweeney and Jake Caprice among those missing.

In better news for the Grecians, goalkeeper Lewis Ward returned to the squad after two months out, while defender Lewis Page is back fit and available.

One to watch – Matt Jay

Matt Jay is Exeter City’s dangerman up front, with 11 goals and four assists to his name already this season. In Sky Bet League Two alone, Jay has found the net nine times.

The 24-year-old scored seven goals in seven games in a run from the start of November to mid-December, in a run that saw them lose just twice. One of these matches saw Jay score a brace, in a 6-1 win against Colchester.

The Englishman came from the Exeter academy, making his first team debut in 2013. He has also had loan spells at Western-Super-Mare, Hayes & Yeading United and Truro City.

Manager – Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor was announced as manager of Exeter City in 2018 after Paul Tisdale left the club following 12 years in charge. As a player, Taylor had a brief spell with County in 2015/16, where he made four appearances as a centre-back.

During his time in charge at St James’ Park, Taylor has guided the Grecians to a ninth place finish in the 2018/19 campaign, one point outside the play-off places, before eventually reaching the play-off final last season. His side came up just short at Wembley after losing out to Northampton Town.

Aside from his stint with the Exiles, the 38-year-old previosuly captained Exeter and also featured for Bradford City and Charlton Athletic.

Last meeting between the sides

The last meeting between the Exiles and Exeter City came in December of 2019 at St James’ Park, in a match which saw the host take all three points after Lee Martin's strike.

The sides also met on two other occasions last season, as Exeter secured another victory in the Papa John's Trophy before the teams played out a draw at Rodney Parade in Sky Bet League Two.


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