Since pipping the Cobblers to an automatic promotion spot in 2022, Exeter have re-established themselves in League One. The Grecians, celebrating twenty years of fan ownership this year, finished a creditable fourteenth in their first season back but have made some impressive signings over the summer thanks to some out of the box thinking from Head of Recruitment Marcus Flitcroft and co.
The gamble on free agent Tom Carroll has already paid off while they’ve uncovered another gem from Brentford in midfielder Ryan Treviit.
All of this under the watchful eye of Gary Caldwell, drafted in when Matty Taylor jumped to Rotherham back in October last year. Caldwell is slowly getting his ideas across and has led City to an excellent start to the season, culminating in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Luton Town in the EFL Cup.
St James’ Park should be buzzing even more than usual and the Cobblers face another difficult afternoon with the home fans likely to create an atmosphere to match their ambitions of making a big step up in the coming months.
Last Time Out
The Cobblers were beaten by Barnsley at Sixfields last weekend before falling to an EFL Trophy defeat on penalties to Chelsea Under 21s on Tuesday night. Exeter lost 3-0 at Oxford on Saturday but stunned Premier League Luton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.
One To Watch
Exeter took a gamble on former Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll in the summer and, so far, it’s been a master stroke. Carroll purposefully took a year away from football to focus on his fitness and trained back with Spurs before The Grecians snapped him up on a free transfer.
Carroll is a clever and skilful midfielder who will look to dictate play and can win games by himself at this level.
Exeter will be without the suspended Demitri Mitchell after he was sent off on Tuesday night but could welcome back striker Admiral Muske (a rumoured target for the Cobblers in summer) after injury. Fellow forward James Scott is another who could come back into contention but Jack Aitchison is out following surgery on a hernia issue. Finnish winger Ilmari Niskanen is out for another month or so following a dislocated shoulder.
The Cobblers are close to being able to welcome back Jack Sowerby after he missed the last two games while Ali Koiki is also believed to be getting nearer a return. Ben Fox and Ryan Haynes returned to action this week while Tyreece Simpson looks to have shaken off a knock picked up on Tuesday night. Will Hondermarck, Danny Hylton and Tyler Magloire are definitely still out.
Neil Hair is charged with keeping order on Saturday. Hair’s last Cobblers game was our 1-1 draw at Rochdale back in February. Carl Fitch-Jackson and Matthew McGrath are running the lines and Alan Young is back as fourth official.
We need to hope Exeter are still celebrating after their victory in the League Cup over Luton and I’ve got a sneaky feeling that we could come away from St James’ Park with something. I’m going all out for a 2-1 Cobblers win!
A Cobblers fan all his life, Danny is the most down to earth football supporter from Northampton.
While at university in Southampton, Danny kept up to date with all things NTFC from afar, sharing his thoughts on his ‘A Load Of Cobblers’ online blog.