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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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13 March 2021 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Exeter City

12 March 2021

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A rare journey south down the M5 awaits Cheltenham Town on Saturday with a visit to St James Park to take on Exeter City (kick-off: 3pm).

On Tuesday the Robins slipped to a first loss in five games at Mansfield Town, and they'll be aiming to get back to winning ways against an Exeter side who go into the weekend having enjoyed back-to-backs wins over Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe United.

The Grecians were last season's play-off finalists but missed out on promotion after defeat against Northampton Town at Wembley and once again they are up among the elite sides in the fourth tier as they aim to find a way into League One.

Watch Saturday's fixture online by buying a match pass on iFollow for the 3pm kick-off.

Team news

Missing through injury on Saturday will be Chris Clements, Will Boyle and Ellis Chapman.

Alex Addai is fit and available after returning from injury, while George Lloyd is also available following a recent hamstring strain.

Manager Michael Duff has been speaking to the press ahead of the game, while Liam Sercombe also sat down to speak to the media.

Opposition

A point outside the League Two play-off places, Exeter are one of a number of sides vying for promotion to League One and will have both an automatic spot and place in the play-offs among their ambitions in the final weeks of the campaign.

Back-to-back wins heading into Saturday leave them 8th in the division as they aim to go one better than last season's play-off final defeat to Northampton Town.

Like Cheltenham, they have a 19-year-old goalkeeper to rely on in goal. Iceland youth international Jökull Andrésson is on loan from Championship outfit Reading.

In front of him their defensive set-up includes two academy graduates in Alex Hartidge and Josh Key, while former Bradford City man Rory McArdle, September 2020 addition Liam Page and Pierce Sweeney are others who they can turn to at the back.

Their midfield line-up boasts plenty of quality whether that's in the shape of vice-captain Archie Collins or fellow attack minded academy product Joel Randall.

They brought in Robbie Willmott on loan from league rivals Newport County to add some more experience in this area of the pitch in January, while skipper Jake Taylor, a former loanee at Cheltenham, and another former Robin in Frenchman Nigel Atangana bring lots of League experience.

At the top end of the pitch Ryan Bowman acts as a useful target man, while Alex Fisher can also perform in that role if deployed. Yet another youth team product, Ben Seymour, is another option in their attack.

The manager: Matt Taylor

Though he spent the majority of his career as a central defender, Exeter manager Matty Taylor actually started his career as a goalkeeper.

He got his break in the Football League as an outfield player with the Grecians after transferring from university side Team Bath and he went onto represent Charlton Athletic, Bradford City and then Newport County, as well as a season at Cheltenham.

In June 2018 following the departure of long-serving boss Paul Buckle, he took on the managers job at Exeter and last season was the closest he's come yet to leading them to promotion.

One to watch: Matt Jay

Academy product Matt Jay is enjoying a fantastic season. The 25-year-old has found the back of the net 17 times in 34 appearances.

The technically gifted attacker is another success story from the Grecians highly regarded youth set-up.

Previously before making his mark on the first team squad at St James Park he spent time on loan in non-league, firstly in 2014 at Weston-super-Mare and then at Hayes & Yeading United and Truro City.

Watch the match on iFollow

You can watch the whole game online by purchasing a match pass on iFollow.

Subscribe to the match and buy a match pass at a price of £10 to view the action in full online.

Coverage

Follow the game on Twitter by keeping an eye on @CTFCofficial. You can also check out score updates on the club's Facebok page and Instagram account.

After the game visit the club website to read the match report and to watch Michael Duff's post-match press conference.

You can watch extended highlights from the game on iFollow.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Exeter City 0-1 Robins

13 March 2021

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An injury time winner by Andy Williams handed gutsy Cheltenham Town a dramatic win on the road in Exeter.

It was their first win here in eight years and they deserved a maxiumum haul for sticking to their task in testing conditions.

There wasn't much between the two sides on the day, and there was even less to report in the 90 minutes leading up to Williams' decisive moment.

The home side had one clear chance over the course of the game but Michael Duff's side were indebted to a brilliant late stop by Josh Griffiths in the closing stages to keep them in it.

The weather had a bit of everything across the afternoon, lurching from the Spring sunshine, driving rain, swirling winds and freezing hale, and it ensure chances were at a premium.

But the big striker – who featured for Northampton Town against these two sides in last season's play-offs – popped up late on to notch the win and help his side bounce back from the disappointment of defeat at Mansfield Town.

"It's a very good win," said Duff after the game.

"I'm delighted. It was a really close game between two good teams in difficult conditions, so chances were at a premium.

"I think we've been due one of them. We've been done a few times in the 90th minute so it was nice to fall on the right side of one today."

There were three changes to the team here. In came Lewis Freestone (for Charlie Raglan, who had injured his groin), Finn Azaz (Callum Wright) and George Lloyd (Alfie May) and Duff's side made a positive start, enjoying plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges.

For all of Cheltenham's good play in the opening 45 minutes, neither goalkeeper had a meaningful save to make. There were a couple of headed chances for Sam Smith aand Lewis Freestone approaching the break, but both missed the target.

Lloyd was withdrawn at the break and replaced by Alfie May after a typically spirited and bruising first 45 minutes.

Exeter's first clear chance came about when Jake Taylor ran on to Archie Collins' ball, only for the midfielder to thump it high and wide from an angle down the right.

The two best chances of the game then arrived in quick succession, seven minutes from time. Josh Griffiths pulled off a smart deny Robbie Willmott from a great position and then a moment later, May called Jokiull Andresson into an even better effort.

But Williams was pressed into action four minutes from time and popped up with the goal five minutes later, meeting Ben Tozer's throw from the right with a glancing header to snatch all the points.

EXETER CITY (3-5-2): Andresson; Hartridge, McArdle, Key; Caprice (Willmott 64), Taylor (c), Jay, Collins, Sparkes; Bowman, Randall. Subs not used: Lee (Gk), Atangana, Seymour, Fisher, Page, Sweeney.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Griffiiths; Long, Tozer (c), Freestone; Blair, Thomas, Azaz, Sercombe, Hussey; Smith (Williams 86), Lloyd (May 46). Subs not used: Flinders (Gk), May, Wright, Horton, Chapman, Vassilev.

REFEREE: J Smith

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