TOWN will fly all the way down to Exeter this weekend for the first round of the F.A Cup on the back of the derby day defeat to Scunthorpe last weekend, but hopeful of continuing their form from the League Cup earlier this season.
Alex Inglethorpe (left) is the new man at the helm for Exeter City after the departure of Eamon Dolan to Reading, to head their new academy. The Grecians were relegated from the league the season before last, but came close to a return last year - finishing just a point away from the play off places in the Conference.
Experienced defender Scott Hiley made a return to St Jamesâ€™ Park in the 2002/03 season after spells in the higher echelons of league football with Manchester City, Southampton, Birmingham and Portsmouth. The 36 year old was in the 1989/90 Fourth Division Championship side that were promoted alongside the Mariners, then managed by Alan Buckley. Kwame Ampadu is another â€˜oldâ€™ head who has played for Plymouth, Swansea, Orient and West Brom. He is in his fourth year with the Grecians. Gareth Sheldon (left) is another who has league experience, mainly with Town rivals Scunthorpe United. In attack, Exeter have a few useful strikers - including ex Mariners target Steve Flack who Russell Slade tried to sign in the summer. Jake Edwards has found goals hard to come by for Exeter after a successful spell with Telford where he hit 22 goals in 60 - odd games.
Sean Devine - vastly experienced forward who has an excellent scoring record in the lower leagues, mainly with Wycombe and Barnet. Devine has 121 career goals since his league debut in 1995. Goals have not been so free flowing this year, netting only 4 - but is undoubtedly a threat.
The Mariners have Graham Hockless and Darren Mansaram back at the club from loan spells and could feature, though "Flash" has been nursing a back problem and probably wonâ€™t be involved.
Dean Gordon aggravated his knee problem last week at Glanford Park and probably wonâ€™t feature. If Slade sticks with 3-4-3, then Greg Young is likely to deputise. Terrell Forbes will not play, with his trial coming up on Monday of next week.
In attack, there will be at least one change, with Jon Daly returning to Stockport County. Slade is hopeful of signing a new striker, but it remains to be seen whether they will be signed in time for the take off to Exeter.
Exeter received a huge blow this week with the news that Captain Glenn Cronin will be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Danny Clay is likely to deputise for him.
History is once again with the Mariners - but there again it was last week, and we know what happened then. The Mariners have 13 wins to Exterâ€™s nine over Town, although Town have failed to win at St Jamesâ€™ Park since 1980.
11th May 1991 - Town beat Exeter 2-1 at Blundell Park, with John Cockerill getting the two goals to earn promotion to the Old Second Division for the Mariners, in one of the most memorable matches in Cleethorpes in recent years.
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