Exeter City v Hartlepool United
Emirates FA Cup Second Round
Sunday 1st December 2019, 2pm
St James’ Park
Exeter City currently lie fourth in the League Two table and are unbeaten in their last five games, though that included an EFL Trophy win over West Ham United and their replayed FA Cup tie triumph over Cambridge United.
The Grecians have real aspirations of reaching League One this term having fallen at the play-off hurdle in two of the last three campaign.
When long-serving boss Paul Tisdale left the club last summer, City turned to Matt Taylor who is popular with fans having made over 150 appearances for them during his playing career.
Having narrowly missed out on a top-seven spot last season, Exeter have enjoyed a solid first half to 2019/20 and now look to have recovered from a slight wobble in October which saw them lose three from four.
Pools will know they have their work cut out if they want to add to their impressive recent record at St James’ Park on Sunday – Taylor’s men have lost just once on home turf so far this term.
One To Watch
Ryan Bowman is the only player to have started every League Two game so far this season for The Grecians and he’s bagged himself five goals along the way.
The former Darlington, York City and Gateshead forward joined City at the start of 2019 following his departure from Motherwell and has gone to become a regular at St James’ Park.
He led the line well last weekend when Exeter collected all three points with a 1-0 win at Crawley Town and Pools will have to marshal him well when the teams collide on Sunday.
Head To Head
Pools have a pretty good recent record against Exeter City and did the double over The Grecians when the clubs last shared a division back in 2016/17.
Indeed, Pools have won five of the last eight meetings between the two sides and have tasted victory at St James’ Park on four of their last six visits.
In total, Pools and Exeter have met 82 times previously and the Devon outfit have the edge historically having won 34 of them in comparison to our 26 triumphs overall.
Pools 3 Exeter City 1
Saturday 4th March 2017
Pools: Fryer, Harrison, Donnelly, Kavanagh (Richardson 29), Featherstone, Thomas, Walker, Woods Hawkins 58), Amond, Oates (Hawkes 89), Alessandra.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Bates, Orrell, Rooney.
Exeter City: Olejnik, Woodman (Sweeney 87), Moore-Taylor, Stacey, Brown, James, Harley, Wheeler, Taylor (Grant 79), Watkins, Reid (McAlinden 65).
Subs not used: Hamon, Archibald-Henville, Croll, Tillson.
On The Whistle
Josh Smith will referee his first Pools game this weekend when he’s the man in the middle for our FA Cup trip to Exeter City.
The official has been added to the EFL’s list of referees for 2019/20 and has overseen 14 competitive fixtures so far this term.
Smith has taken charge of some fractious affairs this term it would appear – he’s flashed five red cards in 2019/20, including four in his last six outings.
Mark Simpson will be live on-air from St James’ Park as usual on Sunday to provide fans all over the world with full live commentary of our FA Cup clash with The Grecians.
You can join him from 2.50pm when he will bring you all the breaking team news before describing every step of the action as it unfolds – and the best thing is, it’s completely FREE to listen.
Pools fans can get their tickets at St James’ Park prior to kick-off on Sunday from the Away Ticket Booth which is close to the turnstiles.
Both sides will be able to name up to seven substitutes on Sunday.
The tie will go to a replay at Victoria Park if the scores are level at the full-time whistle this weekend.
Yellow cards are competition-specific, so if a player collects four in the competition they will be suspended for one game. Red cards remain unaffected and suspensions incurred will be served in the most immediate competitive fixture or fixtures.
Exeter City 5/11