Exeter City: Rise to the top

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Exeter City seal promotion to League One

Despite losing 1-0 at Shrewsbury on the final day, results elsewhere meant that Exeter City return to League One for the first time since 2012. Exeter finished the season second, eight points behind Devon rivals Plymouth.

Exeter City were the better team for much of a drab contest, but Keinan Davis and Randell Williams were guilty of being wasteful. An injury to Neco Williams dampened much of Exeter's attacking spark in the second half, with Charlie Daniels, playing the last game of his career, replacing the right back. With the match seemingly headed for a bore draw, substitute Alexy Bosseti sealed the three points for the Shrews, after a misjudged header from Jake Wright gave the attacking midfielder an easy chance.

Fortunately for the Grecians, the only two teams who could have caught them both lost, with Mansfield slipping up at relegated Macclesfield, and Crawley losing to 18th placed Cheltenham.

Tom James cut a relieved figure in his post match interview, as he admitted his side were 'lucky' to go up, and they needed to be more consistent next season if they wanted to make a mark in League One. Nonetheless, it marked an important milestone in the career of the youngest manager in England, who now must prepare his side for a new division altogether. Colchester go up with Exeter City as the third promoted team, taking advantage of Mansfield and Crawley's slip ups with a 4-2 win over Bradford.
 

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Exeter City F.C. - Wikipedia


Exeter City 2020/21 Award Ceremony

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Alfie McCalmont was this year's big winner, as he claimed Fans' Player of the Season, and Goal of the Season for his stunning long range effort against Barnet. The loanee from Leeds scored three goals and made six assists in 40 appearances, but it was his all-round passing game which earned him the honour. Tom James handed Alfie the award, saying: "Alfie is one of the hardest working players at the club, and one of the best characters in the dressing room. He's already had two years on loan with us, and we're delighted to announce that we've come to an agreement with Leeds for him to spend another season here."

Adam Phillips claimed Signing of the Season following his free transfer from Burnley. The Englishman was a creative force with five goals and eleven assists in 42 matches. Despite much of his season being curtailed by injury, Neco Williams picked up Young Player of the Season, with eleven goals and eight assists in 30 appearances.

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Randell Williams received the club Top Goalscorer award, whilst also sharing the trophy for Most Assists with Adam Lewis. Lewis himself won the prize for having Most Player of the Match Awards. Credit must also go to Williams and Jayden Richardson, who were named in the League Two Team of the Year.

The gaffer delivered an emotional speech at the end of the night, where he thanked the players and the fans for their contributions to the club's promotion. He also paid tribute to Charlie Daniels and Jake Wright, who announced their retirements from football last month. "Charlie has been a gem since we brought him in from Bournemouth. He's never complained about being left out, and he's always performed well when we've needed him to. We definitely would have found a place for him in the team next year, but he told me that he wanted to go out now, while he still felt close to his peak. And Jake has been magnificent. He's been our top centre back for two seasons now, and while his legs maybe were starting to go a bit by the end, he still gave everything to the club. Both are welcome back any time they want."

James also announced that Nicky Law and Nathan Dyer would be leaving the club at the expiry of their contract. "Nicky has been an exceptional player for us, and we'll miss him dreadfully. But he wants to be playing regular football, and I can't deny him the chance to look for that elsewhere. And Nathan, thank you for everything you've done! This sport is cruel, and if you hadn't suffered such a bad injury, you'd probably still be around next year. But again, I can't stand in the way of you continuing your football career somewhere else."

On a positive note, James announced that along with McCalmont, Adam Lewis, Jayden Richardson and Neco Williams had all agreed to extend their loans for another year.

Thank you for following the Grecians this season, and we'll see you in League One!
 
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September 1st 2019

Transfer Review: Exeter City

In today's Transfer Review, Exeter City fan Ryan Adams looks at his club's signings in this window.

The Grecians have made a pretty solid start to life in League One, topping the table with some impressive victories. Tom James has made some big signings once again, so I'm going to assess how they've got on so far.

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Osman Kakay (RB) 6/10 - bought in as backup to Jayden Richardson, he's looked good when required. Grabbed an assist in the 3-0 win against Forest Green.

Kazaiah Sterling (ST/LW) 8/10 - very decent start for the ex-Tottenham lad. Scored the winner on his debut at the Stadium of Light, and has netted in his last three league games. Has been flexible after injuries to Keinan Davis and Dilan Markanday have required him to play different positions.

Dilan Markanday (RW) 5/10 - didn't have his best game against Sunderland, before suffering a broken ankle against Forest Green. Should be an important player when he comes back.

Martin Kelly (CB/RB) 8/10 - a centre-back with Premier League experience at Liverpool and Crystal Palace, Kelly has been fantastic so far, particularly against Sunderland, where he dominated from start to finish on his debut.

Charlie Gilmour (CM) 6/10 - the former Arsenal and Norwich hasn't started a game yet, although two assists already from a player who's barely played is a decent return

Kameron Ledwidge (LB) 4/10 - back up to Adam Lewis, has barely featured. Was sent off in the loss to Arsenal U23s in the cup.

Keinan Davis (ST) 6/10 - was not originally going to re-sign, but bought in as an emergency after Markanday's injury, Davis has scored once and provided two assists in four games.

Ryan Harrington (CB) 5/10 - replacement for Angus MacDonald. Has looked ropey when featured.

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Angus MacDonald (CB) 6/10 - MacDonald was a good reliable centre-back, and arguably better than Ryan Harrington. Nonetheless, 100k for a player who barely featured last year is good going.


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Tactics haven't really changed from last season, but they've worked fantastically so far. I'd give James a 8/10 for this transfer window. Hasn't improved defence depth too much, but Sterling and Kelly look like brilliant signings.
 
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First game in League One got off to a great start at the end of July. A winner from new signing Sterling, and a masterclass in defending from Martin Kelly help secure a win at the home of the title favourites.

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Excellent form continues in the league, winning five games in a row, before a disappointing loss in the Devon derby, and a frustrating draw from 2-0 up against Peterborough. Second string sides struggle in the cup.

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A loss to Burton makes it four games without a win, before the Grecians return to form, winning our next five games to carve out an impressive lead at the top of the table.

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Form continues at the start of the month, before a tricky patch. However two stunners from Shay McCartan against 3rd place Coventry ensure that Exeter stay top.

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We win both our league games, with Dilan Markanday scoring on his return from injury. Massive shame to go out of the FA Cup to Plymouth in a game we dominated. We end the month four points clear of Luton at the top of the table.
 

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Soccer Saturday (@SoccerSaturday) | Twitter


Updates of 2nd placed Luton vs 1st placed Exeter from Neil Mellor, 11th December 2021

15:13 (Penalty) Luton 0-0 Exeter

Jeff Stelling (JS): Hearing there's been a penalty in the big game at the top of League One, but for who? Neil Mellor's at Kenilworth Road

Neil Mellor (NM): That's right Jeff, Exeter have started brilliantly, and it's Neco Williams who wins the penalty, the loanee from Liverpool. He picks the ball up on the right hand side, makes a run into the box, and Rhys Norrington Davies brings him down. It's a clumsy challenge, stonewall penalty. Adam Lewis to take, OH HE'S MISSED IT! That's an awful penalty, he skews it well wide of the left hand side of the goal. Tom James has his head in his hands, Lewis is normally so reliable but not today. Still all square here.

JS: Oh dear, Adam Lewis, another loanee from Liverpool scored all four of his penalties last year, but couldn't convert today. Now let's go back to the big game at the bottom of the Premier League between Burnley and Fulham, where there's a VAR check in place, what's going on Chris Kamara?

15:33 GOAL Luton 0-1 Exeter

JS: And as you can see, Exeter have just taken the lead at Luton through Randell Williams. Let's hear some more about that goal, Neil Mellor.

NM: Luton have not been in this game at all, and Exeter's pressure has finally paid off. It's Neco Williams again, who has tormented Rhys Norrington Davies. He pings a cross in from the right hand side of the pitch, and it's Randell Williams who is on hand to tuck it into the left hand corner. 1-0 Exeter, should be more.

JS: It's that Williams-Williams combination once more, thank god Chris Kamara isn't covering this one or else we'd never know who scored. That's Randell Williams' 11th goal of the season.

16:05 GOAL Luton 1-1 Exeter

JS: There's been an equaliser at Kenilworth Road, Neil Mellor.

NM: And Luton score with their first shot of any kind in the match. Unsurprisingly it comes from an Exeter attack. Keinan Davis loses the ball high up the pitch, and the Luton defender, I don't think he has any desire other than to just get the ball out of their half, but it's caused havoc in the Exeter defence. Lloyd Jones, a former Luton player himself, badly misjudges the flight of the ball, and James Collins is in for an easy one on one. It's all square!

JS: That's the Luton captain's 7th goal of the season, and it comes in their most important game of the season so far.

16:13 GOAL Luton 2-1 Exeter

JS: Well, last time we checked in with Neil Mellor, Luton had scored with their first shot of the match. They've now taken the lead with their second shot of the match!

NM: That's right Jeff, Randell Williams gave his side the lead but he's let himself down here. It's a free kick for Luton, swung into the penalty area, and Williams just pushes James Collins over. Silly penalty to give away, and Collins converts the penalty for his second of the afternoon.

JS: The Exeter players must be kicking themselves, but there's plenty of time left in this one.

16:18 GOAL Luton 2-2 Exeter

JS: What a top of the table tussle it is at Kenilworth Road, here's Neil Mellor with news of another goal.

NM: Luton's lead didn't last long at all! Exeter have been piling on the pressure all afternoon, and frankly it's amazing that they're not three up. But they get their equaliser from a corner. Lloyd Jones headed Jake Taylor's corner onto the cross bar, before Neco Williams, who's been absolutely brilliant all afternoon, headed in the rebound.

JS: Neco Williams gets his fifth goal of the season, played as a right back for Liverpool U23s but Tom James has moved him much further forward and he's turned into a goalscoring winger. impressive stuff from the lad who you feel must be on the verge of an international call up for Wales.

16:24 GOAL Luton 2-3 Exeter

JS: There has been a BIG BIG goal at Kenilworth Road, but for who? Neil Mellor.

NM: This Exeter side have been brilliant all season, and they come up with another fantastic goal here. Adam Phillips picks up the ball in midfield, goes on a run beating a few Luton players, before crossing the ball into Randell Williams, who gets his second of the day. There's more goals in this on Jeff!

JS: Well I should hope so Neil. With that goal, Williams moves to the top of the goalscoring charts, not bad considering he missed a month with injury.

16:30 GOAL Luton 2-4 Exeter

JS: It looks like Exeter have started to put some daylight between themselves and Luton.

NM: That's right. Exeter have dominated this game, and the scoreline is starting to reflect it. This time it comes from the left hand side, Adam Lewis has the ball high up the pitch, and he crosses it into Ben Seymour, only just on as a substitute. It's Seymour's fifth goal from the bench this season, and Exeter should see this one out.

JS: What an impact sub Ben Seymour has proven to be this season. He's not started a single game in the league, but he's averaging a goal every forty minutes right now. Perhaps he's due a start by now.

16:40 GOAL Luton 2-5 Exeter

JS: There's been a seventh goal at Kenilworth Road. Neil Mellor, are Luton back in it, or have Exeter gone further ahead.

NM: Game over, this has been a simply fantastic attacking display from Exeter, and a breathtakingly good goal from Adam Phillips. Adam Lewis has more than atoned for his penalty miss with two assists, as he finds Phillips on the edge of the box, and he curls one into the top corner. Nothing the keeper could do about that one.

JS: It's Phillips' first goal in League One, and it's a deserved one, he's been absolutely excellent today.

16:43 GOAL Luton 3-5 Exeter

JS: Well, Luton will be disappointed with this performance, but their main man has at least managed to bag himself a hat trick. Neil Mellor.

NM: That's right, James Collins has been Luton's one bright spark today. Perhaps a bit of complacency from the Exeter defence, and Collins' shot from just outside the box hits the post, and then takes an age to trickle over the line. Great goal, but too little too late.

16:53 FULL TIME Luton 3-5 Exeter

JS: Lots of scores coming in now, Newcastle win 3-0 over Bournemouth to climb out of the relegation zone. Southampton claim a 3-1 victory over West Brom still stuck on four points after 17 games, with their 9th loss in ten games. And the game at the top of League One has just finished, Exeter claim a 5-3 win over second place Luton. Moves them five points clear at the top of the table, remarkable achievement for the newly promoted team.

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Despite the excellent 5-3 win at Luton, a poor month, with Doncaster, Rotherham, Tranmere and Oxford all in the bottom half of the table.

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Our poor run continues, but picks up at the end of the month with important wins over Colchester and Grimsby.

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Kazaiah Sterling produces a stunning performance in the Devon derby, starts off an almost perfect month. A 2-1 loss against bottom of the table Gillingham is the only down side as we return to the automatic promotion positions.

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Good form continues, Dilan Markanday finally begins to show some consistency and Martin Kelly grabs his first goal for the club.

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Playoff place secured, but important games still to come, including an away trip to Ipswich, and a home game against Luton on the last day.
 
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Winter Transfer Update

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Just the one signing, with Jordan Chapman signing for £23k from Welsh side TNS. Chapman grabbed an impressive 25 goals in 29 games in the Welsh league, and we hope he can have the same impact here.
 

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Soccer – The Athletic


James celebrates unlikely promotion

By Kelly Evans | 24th April 2022

Tom James's appointment as Exeter City manager three years ago was questioned by large sections of the media. An U23 coach younger than most of his players, managing a club notorious for falling at the final hurdle. Many were confused by the board's decision, feeling that James would lack the necessary experience to improve the side. After yesterday, anyone who still doubts the ability of Tom James should stop watching football immediately. A year ago, Exeter City gained promotion to League One. It was not quite a sprint in the end, but rather collapsing over the finish line. They secured promotion after a 1-0 loss to Shrewsbury, but they were incredibly fortunate that others near them had also lost to inferior opposition. There can be no accusations of luck this time around. Tom James and his men fully deserve all the praise coming their way.

It was a 3-0 victory over Blackpool that sealed the deal. After a 4-1 defeat to play off chasing Ipswich in the previous game, fans could have been forgiven for wondering if a collapse was on their way. However Exeter put in a clinical performance against a side who beat them 3-1 early on in the campaign. Neco Williams sent St James's Park into raptures with his 6th minute header, and after prodigious striker Jordan Chapman bagged a brace, the stadium was rocking at half time. After a professional second half performance, fans swarmed onto the pitch to celebrate with players and manager. Lewis Ward fell on the pitch sobbing, one of the five players on the pitch who have been there since James's first season. James himself was ecstatic, hugging every player and fan that came in sight of him. Promotion achieved, James stated that he was determined to lift the league title, which they will do if they avoid defeat to Luton in a two team title shootout next week.

So how did James do it? He made signals of intent in the transfer window. Ex-Spurs youngster Kazaiah Sterling has proved to be one of the signings of the season, while Martin Kelly has been a leader from the back. Charlie Gilmour has impressed in midfield, and if Jordan Chapman can build on his end-of-season performances, then James could potential have a star striker in his ranks. James has garnered praise for his transfer approach, often choosing to sign a mixture of experienced heads, and youngsters who couldn't quite get the opportunities to shine at top clubs. He has also shown tremendous loyalty to loan players who have impressed, with Jayden Richardson, Alfie MacCalmont, Adam Lewis, Neco Williams and Keinan Davis all awarded multiple loan spells at the club.

It's not all been perfect for James. A bad run of form threatened to derail the season around Christmas. According to Jake Taylor, the team were gathered for an impromptu meeting after the 2-0 loss to Sunderland, their seventh match without a victory, and told that they were in danger of throwing away the chance of an unexpected promotion. Since then, the side has been in superb form, with twelve wins in fifteen games. He also had to deal with a few contract standoffs. Randell Williams tried to force a move to Ipswich during the winter transfer window, whilst talented young midfielder Rob Burton briefly refused to sign a new contract amid interest from Championship teams, despite having yet to make his league debut at the time. Thankfully for James's patient approach, both eventually came round and agreed to extend their contracts.

James himself has been subject of temptation. Middlesborough, QPR and Millwall all offered job interviews during a difficult patch where leaving St James's Park could have been a tempting option. However fans and James himself will be glad that he stayed. Weeks after his first interview, James said he wanted to guide Exeter to the Champions League. With the Premier League now within touching distance, the sky really is the limit for Exeter City.
 

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Exeter City secure League One title

Exeter City capped off a dream season by beating second placed Luton on the final day of the season to ensure the League One title. Goals from Adam Lewis and Shay McCartan sealed a comfortable victory over John Terry's side.

Exeter sealed promotion last week with a 3-0 win over Blackpool, but manager Tom James was keen to point out amid the celebrations that there was still work to be done, and the title was still out there to be one. Exeter dominated the early stages, and took the lead through an Adam Lewis penalty. Jordan Chapman was fouled just inside the box, and the Liverpool loanee duly tucked away his penalty into the top right hand corner, for his third goal of the season.

Luton threatened a few times after the break, but division top scorer James Collins, who scored a hat trick in the reverse fixture, was not at his usual best. Around the hour mark, news swept around St James's Park that Ipswich had scored a second against Doncaster, putting them ahead of Luton in the automatic promotion spot on goal difference. As John Terry grew increasingly impatient, urging his men forward, Shay McCartan gave Exeter a 2-0 advantage, curling an effort from outside the box into the top left hand corner. As the final whistle went, fans flocked to the pitch to celebrate, their second pitch invasion in a matter of days.

For Luton, it was a disappointing day, and they now must prepare for a play-off semi final against Doncaster, while Ipswich go up to the Championship with Exeter.
 

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A fine run of form to end the season sees us lift the title, with a 4-1 loss at Ipswich the only blemish.

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Confirmation of the final league table. This represents Exeter's highest ever league finish, and their record points tally as well. Luton go up despite their final day disappointment, beating Forest Green with a last minute winner in the playoff final. For the first time in my managerial career, we won't be in the same division as Devon rivals Plymouth, who fail to get promoted. Grimsby go down, two seasons after beating us 4-1 in the League Two playoff final.
 
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Exeter City F.C. - Wikipedia


Exeter City 2021-22 Award Ceremony

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Adam Phillips was this year's big winner, picking up both the Fans' Player of the Season and the Young Player of the Season award. Phillips bagged three goals and nine assists, while proving to be a commanding presence in the midfield on many an occasion. Tom James handed Phillips the award, saying: "Adam is one of the most professional players I've ever worked with. Even at the start of the season, when he wasn't being picked as much as he'd have liked, he worked hard, and by the end of the season, he was the first name on the team sheet."

Charlie Gilmour was named Signing of the Season, growing a reputation for long range wondergoals, whilst also performing well as a dynamic ball winning midfielder. Kazaiah Sterling picked up goal of the season, with his stunning thunderbolt in the 3-3 draw against Oxford.

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Kazaiah Sterling was given the Top Goalscorer award, marking his first season at Exeter with 19 goals, all coming in the league. Adam Lewis's creative efforts were recognised as well, with the Playmaker award acknowledging his 17 assists. The League One Team of the Year also commemorated how special Exeter's efforts have been this season, with nine Exeter players included in the line up.

Tom James thanked the players for a stunning effort, expressing his disbelief at a second promotion in a row. As has become tradition, he took time out to recognise players who would not be returning next year. The most notable player was Jake Taylor, who has decided to leave St James's Park after seven seasons. James said of Taylor: "Jake was a player I admired massively as a fan of Exeter, and even more so as a manager. Without Jake, we would not have been promoted to League One in the first place, such was his importance to the team. The exceptional talent of Charlie [Gilmour], Alf [ie MacCalmont] and Adam [Phillips] has meant that game time has been a little harder to come by for Jake, but he's never given less than 100% to the cause. I'd have happily kept him here until retirement, but I can understand that he wants game time as he enters the twilight of his career. We wish him the best of luck at Blackpool, and we hope to see him back at Exeter whenever he can."

He also paid tribute to Ryan Bowman, Aaron Martin, Archie Collins and Matt Jay. "Ryan's goals have played a huge part in us reaching the playoffs in my first season, and while he's not played as much the past two years, he's still come up with some important moments when we've needed him. He's moving back to Scotland with Hamilton, and we'll all keep a keen interest in how he does. Aaron has been an outstanding centre back, and his influence will be sorely missed. Archie and Matt have been Exeter boys their whole life, and we'll never forget that. But it would be unfair to stand in their way towards more first team football, and we wish them all the very best."

With regards to next season's transfers, James was tight lipped. MacCalmont has already agreed to extend his loan another year, and he's expressed interest in resigning Adam Lewis as well. Other than that, it's anyone's guess.

Thank you for your support, and we'll see you in the Championship!
 

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You were really unlucky season one, losing in the PLayoff final heartbreak. But you've turned it around with back-to-back promotions. Well done. Would love to see more about the players maybe squad depth ratings and what not.
 

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You were really unlucky season one, losing in the PLayoff final heartbreak. But you've turned it around with back-to-back promotions. Well done. Would love to see more about the players maybe squad depth ratings and what not.
Thank you, I'm going to post a big update later and will include more information about the squad.
 

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September 1st 2022

Transfer Review: Exeter City

In today's Transfer Review, Exeter City fan Ryan Adams looks at his club's signings in this window.


INs

William Cele (LB) - youngster from Tottenham. Loaned out to Southend immediately, where he's done well so far. One for the future.

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Francis Rwakarambwe (CB) - has been great for the U23s so far. Another one for the future.

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Tyler Magloire (CB) - pacey centre-back, hasn't been first choice but has been very good when he's played, especially in clean sheets against Leeds and his former club Blackburn.

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Niko Hämäläinen (LB) - much needed back up for Adam Lewis. Was excellent in the 1-0 win over Leeds.

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Jon McCracken (GK) - back-up to Lewis Ward. Conceded two soft goals in his only game, a 2-0 cup defeat to Portsmouth.

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Harvey Elliott (RW) - astounding signing so far, with four goals in six games for the club.

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Robbie Thompson (CB) - loanee from Villa, has been first choice and looked impressive for an 18 year old

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Patrick Finger (AM) - the most expensive signing of the Tom James era, Finger has underperformed so far.

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Carlos Strandberg (ST) - free transfer with a decent goal record for Al-Hazem in Saudi Arabia. Yet to get off the mark here.

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Givi Meladze (RB) - 19 year old with 21 caps for Georgia, hasn't been amazing so far but plenty of potential.

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OUTs

Jake Taylor (CM) - sad to see him go, but anyone can see he's not Championship level

Ryan Bowman (ST) - again, scored some important goals in the past, but time was right for him to leave

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Overall, I'd give this window an 7/10. Lots of good young players for the future, and added some squad depth which should see us survive in the Championship, certainly based on early indications.


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T
 

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Early start to the season because of the World Cup. Kazaiah Sterling gives us the lead in our first Championship game, before two goals in four minutes shortly after condemn us to an opening day defeat at home.

An second string side lose away to Portsmouth, again conceding two goals in quick succession.

Feared the worst for our prospects, as newly promoted Ipswich scored after two minutes. 2-0 down at half time, we managed to pull it back thanks to Liverpool loanees Harvey Elliott and Adam Lewis.

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Our first win of the season comes against Leeds. Leeds have stagnated somewhat, failing to reach the Premier League under Bielsa and now managed by Lee Johnson. Nonetheless, they're still predicted to finish fourth, and we outplayed them completely.

Nouha Dicko gave Hull an early lead, as we struggled to get into the game. I bought Jordan Chapman on for Sterling, who repaid me with an equaliser shortly afterwards. Randell Williams first two goals of the season put us in a comfortable position, although Josh Windass scored late to make it a nervy finish.

Elliott scored a screamer to put us 1-0 ahead, before Tito equalised for Reading on the stroke of half term. McCalmont made it 2-1 on 76 minutes and Neco Williams secured the winner, making a darting run into the box late on and scoring.

After a low key first half, a Randall Williams header put us ahead. Neco Williams gave away a penalty, which Marlon Pack scored, before Elliott scored a late winner.

Best performance so far! Chapman and Elliott score early on, before Chapman sealed the rout with his second.

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Fellow promoted side Luton bring us back to earth, with an 88th minute goal from Adam May sealing the victory. The result wasn't enough to save John Terry from being sacked as manager.

A headed goal from Robbie Thompson saw us claim all three points against Sheffield Wednesday. After that, we grabbed a fifth consecutive home win, beating Huddersfield with goals from Chapman and Elliot.

A poor start against Birmingham saw us 2-0 down after six minutes. Elliott pulled one back, but a late double sealed a slighly unlucky 4-1 defeat.

We return to winning ways against Charlton. Thought Tom Lockyer had stolen a point with his 83rd minute driven effort, before Randell Williams reacted first to a saved Chapman header to give us a last gasp victory at the Valley.
 

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Soccer Saturday (@SoccerSaturday) | Twitter


Updates of 4th placed Exeter's home game against 1st place Crystal Palace from Chris Kamara - Tuesday 4th October 2022


20:25 GOAL Exeter 0-1 Crystal Palace (Isak)

Jeff Stelling (JS): And we're hearing there's been a goal in the big game at St James's Park, but which way's it gone? Chris Kamara.

Chris Kamara (CK): Aww unbelievable Jeff, this game has taken a while to get going, but Isak has bought it to life. Not sure what Exeter's defence are doing, they're all at sevens and sixes, but it's an old fashioned hoof from Steve Cook, Isak beats the offside trap, and hammers it home. 1-0 Palace, probably deserved.

JS: Sevens and sixes, or as most people say, sixes and sevens. It's Alexander Isak's seventh goal of the season, and it puts Palace back at the top of the table for now.


20:29 GOAL Exeter 0-2 Crystal Palace (Isak)


JS: And as you can see down below, Palace have doubled their lead against Exeter, let's hear more from Chris Kamara.

CK: Ahhhh it's men vs boys out here, you can tell which side was in the Prem last year, and which was in League One. They're passing the ball for fun, and Exeter's right back Mezelde errr, Maladze is having a horrible time out there. It's Reidewald playing at left back who gets the better of him, Ward saves his shot, but parries it straight out to Isak, who grabs his second of the afternoon.

JS: Thank you Kammy, I see you've prepared for the match professionally as ever!


20:51 GOAL Exeter 0-3 Crystal Palace (Onyekuru)


JS: There's been a third goal at St James's Park, are Exeter back in it, or have Palace asserted their dominance further.

CK: Game over here Jeff, fans are starting to leaving the home stand now. The Exeter defence are having a shocker today. They're giving Palace so much space, Andros Townsend is allowed to ping the ball to Onyekuru, who heads home. Second goal today Exeter's right back has been at fault for, poor lad.

JS: I notice you smartly avoided messing up his name again. It's Givi Meladze, a Georgian international with 21 caps at the age of 19. He'll have better days than this one for sure. Onyekuru was openly disappointed with his performances last season, but he's grabbed his seventh of the campaign today.


20:53 GOAL Exeter 1-3 Crystal Palace (McCartan)

JS: There's been another goal at St James's Park, and it looks like Exeter have grabbed a consolation goal.

CK: Well would you believe it. I've criticised, erm, Meladze all game, and he's only gone and grabbed an incredible assist. He crosses it in from deep, finds Shay McCartan on the edge of the box, who aims a perfect header, and Martin Dubravka is nowhere near it. Probably not going to be enough, but what a goal!

JS: Shay McCartan there, with his first ever Championship goal at the age of 28.


20:59 GOAL Exeter 2-3 Crystal Palace (Chapman)

JS: Well ten minutes ago it was game over according to Chris Kamara. Well now it's certainly game on!

CK: Unbelievable Jeff, this one comes from a lightening counter attack. Randell Williams nicks the ball deep in his own half, runs down the left with it and feeds it perfectly to Jordan Chapman, who slots it away with his weak foot. What a game!

JS: That's Chapman's fifth goal of the season, and it comes a week after his first cap for the England U19 side, so congratulations to him.


21:05 GOAL Exeter 2-4 Crystal Palace (Isak)

JS: A sixth goal at St James's Park, and it looks like Exeter's celebrations have taken a hit.

CK: It's the Meladze show here today, and he's either really brilliant or really poor. Sadly this is another really poor moment for him. A horrific touch from him gives the ball away to Alfie Mawson, who swings in a cross, and Isak is there to head in for his hat-trick. Looks like Palace are home and hosed but who knows? There's a lot of fight in this Exeter team.

JS: Thanks Kammy, that's Isak's first hat trick in a Crystal Palace shirt, what a day this has turned out to be for him!


20:20 GOAL Exeter 3-4 Crystal Palace (Strandberg)

JS: ANOTHER GOAL IN DEVON BUT WHICH WAY?

CK: The home fans are going mental, they believe they can nick a point here! It's another fantastic counter attack! Lewis Ward catches a Palace corner, and immediately kicks the ball long for Harvey Elliott to chase. Elliott carries the ball up field, crosses it in, and it's the substitute who scores, didn't even have time to catch his name. Think that must have been his first touch.

JS: Our videprinter says Strandberg scored it. That's Carlos Strandberg's first goal in English football, since signing from Saudi Arabian side Al-Kazem in the summer.

20:25 GOAL Exeter 4-4 Crystal Palace (Strandberg)

JS: At 3-0 down we all thought it was game over at St James's Park. There's been an 8th goal there, WHICH WAY CHRIS KAMARA?

CK: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh unbelievable Jeff, what a game! This Exeter side are made a strong stuff. They've been piling on the pressure, and it's Strandberg once again. It comes from a throw in from, you guessed it, Meladze, who finds Elliott. It's almost exactly the same goal as Exeter's third, Elliott crosses it and Strandberg is there to head in. 4-4, what an incredible scoreline.

JS: What a scoreline, and what a cameo from Carlos Strandberg. He's not started a match for Exeter yet, but he surely will soon!


20:38: FULL TIME Exeter 4-4 Crystal Palace

JS: And Exeter have done it, they've clawed a point from the edge of defeat. Credit to Tom James, who has done quite magnificent work with them. They stay in the playoff positions, when everyone expected them to be in a relegation dogfight. What a performance.
 

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Screenshot 2020-06-03 at 19.36.01.png


A fantastic performance at the other St James's Park started off the month. Dilan Markanday gave us the lead, before a cruel equaliser from Vincent Aboubakar in the 90th minute. While it was an impressive result against a side that was in the Prem last season, Newcastle have been disappointing, and were 15th going into the game.

As mentioned in the last post, we drew 4-4 with Palace in a crazy game. After that, our worst run of form of the season, going three games without a point or goal. Millwall, Derby and Barnsley were 5th, 7th, and 6th respectively at the time we played them, and those losses dented our play-off hopes significantly.

Nonetheless, we returned to winning ways against Bristol City. I was worried when Ferhat Cogalan scored for Bristol after 44 seconds, but three goals in five minutes put us in control, before Prince Henry made it 2-3 almost straight after Jordan Chapman's first of the match. Chapman scored again to make it 4-2, but Michael Olise scored on the stroke of half time to make it 4-3. A sending off for Bristol put us in a more comfortable position right after the break, and Strandberg secured the three points by adding a second with a thumping effort from just inside the box.

A 2-0 loss at the home of the leaders ended the month on a down note, although we played very well, controlling possession.

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A convincing performance against Wigan gave us our first home win since September. Did well to battle from 2-0 down against Preston, before Robbie Thompson gave away an 85th minute penalty, which was converted.

After this match, there was a break for the 2022 World Cup. We had one player participating, Kazaiah Sterling, who was named in the Jamaican squad. He sadly didn't make an appearance, despite starting in both of their friendly fixtures beforehand. Jamaica went out in the group stages, but finished the tournament undefeated, drawing 2-2 against Venezuela, Portugal and Holland. In fact, they'd have qualified for the knockout rounds had Holland not scored a 95th minute equaliser against them in the last match of the group stage.

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Almost the perfect return to action against 3rd placed Watford, who twice recovered from a goal down. The second goal stung in particular, as Lloyd Jones inexplicably dawdled on the ball in the 93rd minute, and allowed Josh Sims in to score his second of the match.

After that, a decent away win against Nottingham Forest put us into the fourth round of the FA Cup. We face Wigan at home in a fairly favourable draw.

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Not bad for a side expected to finish 24th.
 
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Screenshot 2020-06-04 at 17.08.19.png


2023 gets off to a great start with an easy win over Sheffield Wednesday. However a run of three consecutive losses follows, despite good performances against high fliers Huddersfield and a resurgent Newcastle side. A 93rd minute Chapman header rescues us against Swansea.

A 3-1 over Wigan sees us reach the fifth round, where we face League Two Cambridge away, so a very good chance for us to reach the quarter final.

Our indifferent league form continues with a flat performance against Leeds, before we return to form against Hull, in a match which included a stunning 30 yard free kick from Adam Lewis

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Transfer Update


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After three and a half seasons on loan with us, we finally made Adam Lewis's stay permanent. Lewis's contract with Liverpool was due to expire in July, but because the rules meant that foreign clubs could sign him on a free, and with multiple MLS clubs circling, we decided he was worth paying £550k for, making him our record signing.

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Another loan player from Aston Villa. With Patrick Finger massively underperforming, decided to bring in another attacking midfielder to challenge Shay McCartan.

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A midfielder hailing from Fluminese, who faced Exeter in a historic friendly back in 2014, the now Tottenham based player should slot straight into our midfield.

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Not much to talk about with the outs. A few decent prospects have gone out on loan, while Oliver Shenton and Osman Kakay both never quite got going at Exeter.
 

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Screenshot 2020-06-06 at 17.49.46.png


Harvey Elliott gives us a lead at Forest, before Ivan Toney scored two in quick succession. A screamer from Alfie McCalmont salvages a point. After that, an impressive turnaround in Reading secures all three points, with Ryan Mellor getting his first goal for the club. An impressive performance against the Championship front runners sees us take the lead through a bizarre Moreno own goal, before they equalise seconds later.

Two impressive home performances follow, against play off contenders Millwall and a middling Preston. Rob Burton impresses in both, coming off the bench twice to score. Tottenham loanee Borracha has also been a revelation, and got his first goal for the club against Preston.

Against Barnsley, we recover from conceding an early goal to secure a third straight win, before we stun West Brom with a 2-1 win, despite playing an under-strength side, with an important FA Cup tie on the horizon. We win that FA Cup tie with a professional performance against Cambridge, where we never looked like conceding.

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A fantastic month! Easy wins against Bristol and Wigan, before a slightly less convincing performance against Cardiff.

We book a Wembley date with an incredible victory at Newcastle. We dominated throughout, and took the lead through a Harvey Elliott header. Ethan Laird's late goal sent the tie to a penalty shootout, during which Elliott, Lewis, Chapman and Borracha score, while Lewis Ward was the hero, saving efforts from Yannick Toure and Alfonso Pederaza.

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We've officially secured our status in the division, so now focussing on finishing as high as possible.
 
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