Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

20 January 2024 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Buy a pass:

Listen live now

Watch live now

Listen or watch live now

Recent results


English Football League - League One

Advertisement block

Advertisement block

Live commentary of this match has not yet started.

toggle inactive

key moments

Updated at

There are currently no key moments to display.

Advertisement block

Advertisement block

Advertisement block

Advertisement block

Match Previews

Match Preview: Exeter City vs U's

18 January 2024

Up and running Cambridge United aim to ramp up momentum with back-to-back Sky Bet League One wins this weekend as they take on Exeter City at St James Park…

Fresh from cancelling out a three-match losing streak, the U’s approach the tie in a top half mix and will look to continue their upwards trajectory against the Grecians, who sit four points and places behind in the table following a run that has seen them win just twice since mid-September.

A pitch inspection for the game has been called for 2pm on Friday, due to the freezing temperatures over the past week.

How to Watch

Over 200 ardent U’s fans have already committed to making the pilgrimage down to Devon on Saturday afternoon, with proceedings kicking off at 3pm. If the pitch inspection is passed and the game looks set to go ahead, tickets will be available from St James Park on the day of the game.

Unable to attend? Fans in the UK can listen to full match commentary with iFollow or on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, whilst overseas supporters can stream the game live with an iFollow Video Match Pass.

Opposition Focus

Starting out in 1901 as St Sidwell’s United, the hosts have plied their trade at Saturday’s venue ever since and earned their Football League bow in 1920 following an invitation to join. A stable outfit fluctuating between the Third and Fourth Division throughout the decades, the Grecians found themselves in the Conference Premier at the start of the millennium, but successive promotions between 2008 to 2009 saw them rise to the third tier. Most recently, they were very much part of the League Two furniture, but their 10th attempt paid dividends when Matt Taylor put things right via the play-offs in 2021/22. Last time out, a respectable ranking of 14th saw them comfortably avoid the drop – matching that would make for a super achievement given their current fight.

Under the tutelage of former Wigan Athletic defender Gary Caldwell – who only recently started cutting his teeth as a manager – he’s built a strong connection with the club since arriving in October 2022. Becoming settled with a 3-4-2-1 system, goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo has become dependable with some strong performance – eight clean sheets so far is an applaudable record. That’s thanks to a settled back three of Pierce Sweeney, Cheick Diabate and Alex Hartridge, with wing-backs Dion Rankine and Zak Jules chipping in to help and spearhead attacks at the same time. Former non-league man Reece Cole should partner the experienced Tom Carroll in the middle, who allow loanee Luke Harris to thrive in the final third and combine with Jack Aitchison. 19-year-old Sonny Cox has led the line of late, whilst James Scott and ball carrier Yanic Wildschut offer extra dimensions from the bench.

Early form indicated another campaign of consolidation for Exeter, who grabbed four wins from their opening six – notably on the first matchday as they overpowered Wycombe Wanderers 0-3 and then grabbed a last-gasp 2-1 win vs Reading – with a stalemate against Blackpool and a slender defeat to runaway side Portsmouth. Victory against Cheltenham Town in mid-September lofted the side to the summit of the division, but form scuppered as they went a whole 13 matches without three points – accumulating three from a possible 39. Since Boxing Day, Caldwell’s men have won two, drawn once and lost twice, so form is certainly better, but languishing in 20th with a three-point cushion from the drop means vast improvement is a necessity.

Form Guide

Exeter City: WDLWL

Cambridge United: WLLLW

United’s Approach

The U’s made a dramatic return to winning ways last time out as a late 2-1 victory over basement side Fleetwood Town sent the Cledara Abbey into raptures and got the ball rolling for 2024.

After an evenly-matched hour of football, where nothing could separate the sides, the encounter sprung into life during the latter stages as Lyle Taylor capped his debut by drawing first blood. Although Promise Omochere immediately levelled matters, the hosts kept plugging away and sealed it late in the afternoon as Sullay Kaikai showed great composure to rifle into the roof of the net.

Reflecting on the 90 minutes, Neil Harris admitted: “As much as it was ugly, today was about character and personality and when it went to 1-1 we didn’t go under, we responded. Ultimately, we could have scored two or three more goals after going back level. We found a way to win and that’s the most important thing.”

With the three-match losing streak now cancelled out, optimism is once again in the air that a push for the top half is on the agenda. Currently, the U’s are one of five sides who obtain 30 points, and with games in hand and just five points separating them from 10th, they’ll be quietly confident. The first thing to pinpoint is the away form – they’re after just their second success on the road and are striving to ensure that it happens on Saturday.


Exeter City Wins: 26

Cambridge United Wins: 32

Draws: 13

Down Memory Lane

A familiar face, the sides met in the reverse fixture just shy of a month ago, with the U’s claiming maximum points in the festive clash with a well-deserved 2-0 win at the Cledara Abbey Stadium.

Coming out of the blocks firing, the reinvigorated hosts took an early lead through the in-form Gassan Ahadme – who found the back of the net for the fourth consecutive game after slotting home from the spot. Showcasing excellent attitude to control the game and then kill it off, Elias Kachunga made sure of the success late on with a clinical finish to increase the unbeaten run under Harris.

Speaking on that evening, the boss echoed: “I am pleased for everybody. To see the ground full, to see the connection between the terrace and the pitch and to see fans enjoying watching their team, it’s fantastic… Nobody is getting carried away – we know how we got here but we have set our standards now.”

From over 70 head-to-heads dating back to 1970, form has swung a plethora of times, with United currently enjoying a decent record against the Grecians. On top of hunting the double for the 2023/24 season, they will also look to claim a fourth win from five – with the sole defeat coming back in February 2023 at this weekend’s venue. A tricky face to visit, it’s been six defeats in a row at St James Park, with the last triumph tasted back in October 2016 when a rapid start, courtesy of goals from Luke Berry and Harrison Dunk, saw the U’s hold on for a 1-2 win.

Match Officials

Referee: Scott Simpson

Assistant Referee: Marvyn Amphlett

Assistant Referee: Andy Bennett

Fourth Official: Adam Ricketts

Advertisement block

Match Reports

Report: Exeter City 0-0 Cambridge United

20 January 2024

The points were shared at St James Park as Cambridge United played out a goalless draw against Exeter City to add to their Sky Bet League One tally and register their tenth clean sheet of the 2023/24 season…

Fresh from cancelling out a three-match losing streak, the U’s approached the tie in a top half mix and were looking to continue their upwards trajectory against the Grecians, who sat four points and places behind in the table following a run that saw them win just twice since mid-September.

Following on from the dramatic success against Fleetwood Town the week before, Neil Harris opted with the solitary change to his XI as he rewarded Lyle Taylor with his first start for the club - who replaced Jack Lankester. As for the bench, Brandon Njoku retained his place in the matchday squad and was joined by fellow Academy graduate Greg Sandiford, who was named in the 18 for the first time.

After the Devon surface was deemed suitable to play as a result of a lunchtime inspection, the encounter commenced in a fast-paced manner, with the hosts forcing three early corners which were all dealt with professionally.

Their first foray into the penalty area was generated by the front-footed Jack Aitchison, who drove towards an angle with tenacity and flashed a delivery across the face of goal which evaded everyone.

Looking to gain their share of momentum, the U’s probed with their wing play on two separate occasions on the 11th minute. First, Danny Andrew’s free-kick from the right was whipped with venom but well claimed by goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo, who again was on hand to catch Sullay Kaikai’s deflected cross seconds later.

Plugging away during a battling opening 20 minutes - where the hosts had seen more of the ball but lacked invention - United were doing the basics right defensively, with Liam Bennett particularly remaining physically resolute to deny crosses into the box on numerous occasions.

Remaining in the same vein, the Grecians were allowed to maintain heavy spells in possession, but the match was still awaiting that spark, with neither keeper called into action due to no shots being attempted at all.

All in all, there could be zero complaints with a scruffy stalemate at the break. Despite looking defensively fine, the U’s understandably needed to get hold of the game in the middle of the park and then gain that execution in the final third.

Immediately after the break, the encounter moved up the gears with a first attempt as Ilmari Niskanen teed up Yanic Wildschut inside the box, who turned and pulled the trigger at sliding partners Michael Morrison and Ryan Bennett, who valiantly blocked and cleared their lines. Play was recycled to Aitchison, whose speculative half-volley was straight down the throat of Jack Stevens.

Showcasing urgency, the hosts registered their second strike at goal on the 50th minute when defender Pierce Sweeney cracked a low, no-nonsense free-kick from just under 25 yards towards Stevens, who had to be really firm.

With the cards being dished out on a regular basis, the stop-start display from the U’s continued – they entered the hour mark unable to break out of their own half following a period where Exeter had certainly been in the ascendency.

Neil Harris’ men conjured up their opening chance on 60 when Paul Digby cushioned a header to Taylor from distance, whose crisp snap shot was ferocious but ultimately wide of Sinisalo’s right post.

Deadlock should have been broken on the 66th minute when Niskanen’s cross deep down the right fell invitingly to Sonny Cox in the six-yard box, who got across his man and directed a header inches over the crossbar.

With 70 minutes on the clock, the visitors put a string of passes together which resulted in Andrew dancing towards the area. The full-back’s strike was blocked and the rebound fell to Kaikai, but his first time shot towards the corner was met by a diving Sinisalo. If the U’s could grab it by the scruff of the neck, the match was there to be won, but the outfits were yet to blink first.

Five minutes later, substitute Dion Rankine weaved his way past several men in amber and, despite having options, pulled the trigger from a tough angle which Stevens got down quick to smother.

Bombarding the dangerzone, the Grecians forced pinball inside the area in the next attack, which was concluded by Tom Carroll’s close-range effort that cannoned over the woodwork.

Gaining momentum at an important time, United began to pester on the 82nd minute and almost added a sneaky opener when L. Bennett tested his luck by going for goal from a crossing position, which needed instinctive and important reflexes from Sinisalo to paw away for a corner.

Just after three additional minutes were confirmed, Exeter almost snatched victory when Rankine floated to Ben Purrington from a matter of yards out, who headed towards goal but was denied by the fingertips of Stevens, who valiantly ensured a point apiece on a battling afternoon.

Up next, United return to home comforts next weekend (27th January) when they take on Burton Albion – be sure to back the boys.


Exeter City: Sinisalo, Niskanen (Cole, 78’), Sweeney, Diabate, Jules, Purrington, Carroll, Harris, Aitchison, Wildschut (Rankine, 64’), Cox (Scott, 86’)

Subs Not Used: MacDonald, Aimson, Hartridge, Kite


Bookings: Purrington, Niskanen


Cambridge United: Stevens, L. Bennett, R. Bennett, Morrison, Andrew, Digby, Cousins, Kaikai, Kachunga (May, 77’), Brophy, Taylor

Subs Not Used: Mannion, Okedina, Ibsen Rossi, Janneh, Njoku, Sandiford


Bookings: Andrew, Taylor, Digby, Kachunga


Referee: Scott Simpson

Advertisement block

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account