Mark Bonner’s men are keen to make an immediate return to winning ways in Sky Bet League One as the U’s welcome high-flying Exeter City to the Abbey Stadium...
The previous runners-up of the fourth tier clash in CB5 and, overall, both arrive in boisterous moods after impressive openings to 2022/23 life, although the hosts are after retribution due to a cruel loss in the dying embers of their last outing.
- How to Watch
Saturday afternoon’s clash kicks off at 3pm, with tickets still available for fans to buy.
Save money by purchasing your tickets in advance of the fixture, as all prices increase by £2 when buying in-person on the day of the game.
Overseas fans can stream the game live with an iFollow Match Pass. Match Passes cost £10 and are available to purchase by clicking here. Elsewhere, domestic supporters who can’t make it to the Abbey can listen to live match commentary on iFollow.
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- Opposition Focus
Exeter City arrive in Cambridgeshire on cloud nine after a devastating unbeaten start to the season. In truth, momentum has only increased since securing promotion to League One in April. Matt Taylor obtains a trusted, fluid system which has grit and trickery all over the pitch.
The Grecians travel on the back of settling with a 1-1 draw at Lincoln City before trouncing Port Vale 4-0 and, in midweek, annihilating Cheltenham Town 0-7 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium to secure their passage to the Second Round of the Carabao Cup. On-song strike duo Jevani Brown and Sam Nombe have six goals between them in the opening three games, whereas just the solitary goal conceded in 270 minutes of football is an applaudable feat for the newcomers.
Manager Taylor followed the mantra of appreciating what you’ve got by rewarding his tried and tested squad by maintaining the core and allowing them to test themselves at this level. Although a quiet summer in regards to transfers, Jamal Blackman offers some presence between the sticks and loanee Kegs Chauke adds promise to the middle of the pitch.
- Form Guide
Cambridge United: LLWWL
Exeter City: DLDWW
- United’s Approach
If anything, the U’s mentality of being eager to get back on the pitch continues this weekend – for Bonner’s side will be itching to bounce back and right the wrong from undeservedly leaving Oxford United empty-handed.
The momentum was well and truly in the hands of United going into the encounter last Saturday having dispatched MK Dons and Millwall with real assurance.
The U’s defensive grit and perseverance looked to have paid off for a third consecutive match – they looked great value for a stalemate practically all throughout – but with seconds left on the clock, a moment of brilliance from youngster Tyler Goodrham handed Oxford maximum points.
Cutting a dejected figure after the game, Bonner affirmed, “I’ve just said to the players - 126 games I’ve been their coach and that’s the most unjust result we’ve taken part in.”
When speaking to the press on Thursday, the Head Coach deemed it best to take the positives from defeat as, frankly, the performance was so strong there was very few negatives.
In relation to team news, Bonner said, “Everybody’s good. Everybody has trained all week so it’s been good for us really, particularly after moving the Carabao Cup game.
As for Fejiri Okenabirhie, the striker is still a couple of weeks away from appearing yet, but is on the cusp of contributing in some way soon.
Cambridge United Wins: 29
Exeter City Wins: 20
- Down Memory Lane
Familiar foes, this is the 9th successive season the U’s and the Grecians have pitted their wits against each other. The sides were drawn against each other in the FA Cup Second Round in 2021/22, with United succumbing the Devon outfit to a 2-1 defeat at the death after Sam Nombe’s early penalty was cancelled out by a trademark Adam May strike and a Harvey Knibbs converter at the death.
“It was a proper cup tie in the end, but you’ve got to give Exeter great credit. The most important thing was to get into the next round and we’ve been able to do that,” was Assistant Head Coach Gary Waddock’s assessment of the tie.
Ever since edging out United 1-0 at Wembley in the 2008 Conference Premier play-off final, the visitors boast the stronger record between the two. The cup victory diminished a four-game losing streak against the Grecians, who have altogether won eight of their last 11 meetings against the hosts.
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Assistant Referee: Andy Bennett
Assistant Referee: Scott Williams
Fourth Official: Michael George