After a loss last time out, we have a great chance to get back to winning ways in front of our fans.
Date: Saturday 10th December 2016
Opponent: Ipswich Town (19th)
Venue: St. James Park
Odds: Exeter City=4/6, Draw=9/4, Ipswich Town=7/2
Weather: Drizzle, 4C
Referee: Mr. Andre Marriner
The temperatures return to being more seasonal and as well as welcoming Ipswich Town, we welcome the TV cameras. Federico Cenci crosses the ball from the right wing in the 14th minute and it’s heading for Michele Marconi. Just before the ball reaches him, Thompson gets in first and puts the ball behind for a corner. Nine minutes later, the ball reaches Marconi from Michel, but his shot on the turn from 12 yards sails harmlessly over the crossbar. The pair combine again in the 42nd minute; Marconi keeps his shot from 12 yards down this time, but it’s straight at Bunn. He’s unable to hold on and Ipswich clear – Bradley Johnson commits a foul from the clearance and enters Mr. Marriner’s book.
The first action of note in the second half comes in the 58th minute when Gardner plays the ball to Morrison; his shot from 18 yards is saved by Jonathan Bond and we clear the ball to safety. Jonny Hayes replaces Dacian Varga in the 60th minute; Hayes goes to the right wing and Cenci switches over to the left. Bertin Matip crosses from the right in the in the 66th minute and finds Cenci at the far post. He’s 6 yards out, but can only head over as he’s under pressure. Cenci continues to look the most likely to break the deadlock and two minutes later, he cuts in from the left, shoots and hits the far post. The rebound falls to Hayes, who is 8 yards out, but his shot is blocked by a defender at the cost of a corner. Mr. Marriner’s book becomes busier, with Matip, Hayes and Roman Chaloupka entering it in the 81st, 82nd and 84th minutes respectively following fouls on Majewski, Smith and Cullen. Majewski takes a free kick from the right in the 85th minute and he finds Thompson 12 yards out. Thompson connects with a powerful header and Bond doesn’t stand a chance. Thankfully, Chaloupka is on the line and heads clear. There’s still time for Mr. Marriner’s book to be put into action – Dampha fouls Michel in the 92nd minute of stoppage time.
Result: Exeter City 0-0 Ipswich Town
Man of the Match: Lubomir Zapotoka
Ratings: GK-Bond (6.9), DR-Zapotoka (7.4) DCR-D’Avanzo (6.7), DCL-Vukovic (7.1), DL-Chaloupka (7.1, booked), MCR-Matip (6.9, booked), MCL-Johnson (6.5, booked), AMR-Cenci (6.9), AMC-Michel (6.8), AML-Varga (6.7, sub 60), ST-Marconi (6.7). Sub-Hayes (6.8, on 60, booked). Unused-Spasov, Rentea, Pavlov, Keane.
League Position: 1st
We had the better of the game, but struggled to create clear-cut chances and rarely threatened Ipswich’s goal. I had hoped to return to winning ways against a team near the bottom of the league, but we were unusually goal-shy in front of our fans and the cameras.
The managerial vacancy at Leicester City is resolved with the appointment of Dave Jones, who resigns from 23rd-placed Rotherham United. Gareth Southgate is made the favourite for the vacancy at Rotherham, but my name is in the mix.
The media also have a story about me being interested in signing midfielder Fabio Sinacca from Catania for £3.7m. It’s an interesting story, but I’m not sure how they’ve come up with it. My transfer budget is around £350,000 and Sinacca is not even on my (incredibly extensive) shortlist.
Nicky Holmes returns from loan spell at Newport County. As he returns, the physio reports that Roman Chaloupka is suffering from the flu and will be out for 5-7 days whilst he recovers.