Super 6 – 4th July 2020

Manchester United 3-0 Bournemouth
Leicester City 2-1 Crystal Palace
Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Leeds United
Bristol City 1-1 Cardiff City
Brentford 3-1 Wigan Athletic
Fulham 2-0 Birmingham City

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Super 6 – 7th December

Bournemouth 1-2 Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Burnley
Watford 1-2 Crystal Palace
Cardiff City 2-1 Barnsley
Fulham 1-1 Bristol City
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Brentford

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Super 6 – 30th November

Liverpool 3-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Bournemouth
Burnley 1-2 Crystal Palace
Leeds United 2-0 Middlesbrough
Nottingham Forest 2-1 Cardiff City

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Super 6 – 23rd November

Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Arsenal 3-1 Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 Leicester City
Everton 2-1 Norwich City
Bournemouth 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Watford 2-1 Burnley

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Super 6 – 28th September

Aston Villa 1-1 Burnley
Bournemouth 1-2 West Ham United
Chelsea 3-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
Crystal Palace 2-1 Norwich City
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Southampton
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Watford

Leave a comment with your predictions.

Super 6 – 14th September

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Burnley
Manchester United 1-1 Leicester City
Sheffield United 2-1 Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Chelsea
Swansea City 2-1 Nottingham Forest

Leave a comment with your Super 6 predictions and how you did.

Super 6 – 31st August 2019

Chelsea 3-1 Sheffield United
Crystal Palace 2-1 Aston Villa
Leicester City 2-1 Bournemouth
Manchester City 4-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
Newcastle United 1-1 Watford
West Ham United 2-2 Norwich City

Leave a comment with your predictions and how you did.

Super 6 – 24th August 2019

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-2 Southampton
Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
Sheffield United 1-2 Leicester City
Watford 1-1 West Ham United
Fulham 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Huddersfield Town 1-1 Reading

Leave a comment with your predictions and how you did on the week.

Growing the Grecians #66 – One from top, one from bottom

A draw in our last game kept an unbeaten run going, but we could do with some wins to keep up our chase for automatic promotion.

Date: Saturday 11th March 2017
Opponent: Crystal Palace (23rd)
Venue: St. James Park
Odds: Exeter City=1/2, Draw=13/5, Crystal Palace=9/2
Weather: Gusty, 10C
Referee: Mr. Will Howard

Lubomir Zapotoka is making his 25th league appearance for both us and in his career. Five minutes in, Jonny Hayes plays in Michel and he slots home from 10 yards for his 4th goal of the season and to get us off to a flying start. Six minutes later, we’re two up; Hayes crosses from the right and Federico Cenci powerfully volleys in from 6 yards for his 23rd goal of the season. In the 14th minute, Cenci shoots from 16 yards and Larsen Kwarasey spills the ball. Cenci goes for the rebound, by Mr. Howard blows the whistle for a foul on a defender. Hayes looks to score himself in the 16th minute, but his shot from 25 yards whistles just over. Parr takes an inswinging corner in the 20th minute and finds Ramage unmarked at the far post, but he heads over from 6 yards out. It’s a let off for us. A minute later, Cenci runs into the area and shoots from 8 yards; Larsen Kwarasey gets down well and concedes a corner to keep the score at 2. Oliver Norwood looks for another stunner in the 27th minute, but he can’t keep his shot from 30 yards down. On the half hour mark, Bradley Johnson lifts the ball over the top, but Cenci’s shot from 18 yards goes wide. McQuoid shoots from 18 yards in the 33rd minute and Jonathan Bond makes a comfortable save. Marrow enters Mr. Howard’s book in the 37th minute for a foul on Gennaro Riccardi. Six minutes before half time, Cox takes a powerful shot from 16 yards, forcing Bond to beat the ball behind for a corner. In stoppage time, we counter from a throw. Cenci runs from the halfway line, shoots from 16 yards and scores his 24th goal of the season. Surely game over.

Dikgacoi has his name taken by Mr. Howard in the 50th minute for fouling Michel. McQuoid joins him a minute later for fouling Vukovic, with Ayling having his name taken a minute later for a foul on Cenci. Alain Besse passes to Cenci in the 55th minute. He’s 12 yards out and has a great chance to complete his hat-trick, but it’s a tame shot and Larsen Kwarasey saves comfortably. Riccardi has his name taken a minute before the hour mark for fouling Tomasov, who forces Bond to save his shot from 18 yards four minutes later. Riccardi crosses from the left in the 65th minute and finds Hayes 6 yards out at the far post. He meets the ball with a header and Larsen Kwarasey pushes the ball over the bar for a corner. Michele Marconi is brought on in the 71st minute for Hayes, with Cenci moving out to the right wing. With 12 minutes to go, Dikgacoi fouls Michel. Mr. Howard blows his whistle. He produces a card. It’s a second yellow. Dikgacoi is off! To ensure we don’t end up with 10 men as well, I replace Riccardi with Catalin Rentea in the 79th minute. Vukovic moves across to left back, Rentea goes to right back as Zapotoka moves into the centre of defence. Marconi lays the ball back to Cenci in the 86th minute, but his shot from 8 yards out goes across the face of the goal and wide. It doesn’t look like he’s going to complete his hat-trick. With three minutes to go, Cenci passes to Besse and he hits a powerful shot from 8 yards that produces a stunning reflex fingertip save by Larsen Kwarasey, who tips the ball over for a corner. The last chance comes in the 90th minute when Cenci lays the ball off to Marconi and he lets fly from 25 yards, only for Larsen Kwarasey to tip over the bar again.

Result: Exeter City 3-0 Crystal Palace
Man of the Match: Jonny Hayes
Ratings: GK-Bond (6.9), DR-Zapotoka (7.2), DCR-Berger (7.1), DCL-Vukovic (7.7), DL-Riccardi (7.1, booked, sub 79), MCR-Norwood (7.0), MCL-Johnson (6.9), AMR-Hayes (9,1, 3A, sub 71), AMC-Michel (7.9, G), AML-Besse (7.0), ST-Cenci (9.0, 2G). Subs-Marconi (6.6, on 71), Rentea (on 79). Unused-McCarey, Spearing, Matip.
Attendance: 8,714
League Position: 2nd
Match Stats:

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Palace #FM12

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A good comfortable win – just what we needed. We got into a quick two goal lead and the goal on the stroke of half time ensured that there would be no comeback. It helps keep us secure in an automatic promotion spot and ensure that Birmingham City can’t take their foot off the gas. It was also nice to play Palace and not have to worry about Scannell after they sold him – he always seemed to play well against us.

After a good performance, I’m expecting to see some players in Team of the Week. Tuesday morning and the team is announced and we have (drumroll please)… one player. And it’s Michel. Whilst I’m delighted he’s in the Team of the Week, I feel very sorry for Hayes and Cenci (evidently their mid-week performance against Peterborough has cost them).

Martin Koci is the subject of a loan bid from Fleetwood Town for one month. All parties agree and Koci joins them. As he leaves, Luca D’Avanzo resumes full training in time for the run-in. I also add a new face to the squad – Bulgarian midfielder Spas Donchev, who we’ve had on trial a couple of times. He’s another prospect for the future.

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Donchev #FM12

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Read Growing the Grecians #67.

Read from Growing the Grecians #1.

Growing the Grecians #42 – Milestones aplenty

After victory last time out, we continue our league campaign and travels.

Date: Saturday 22nd October 2016
Opponent: Crystal Palace (23rd)
Venue: Selhurst Park
Odds: Crystal Palace=7/2, Draw=9/4, Exeter City=4/6
Weather: Dry, 8C
Referee: Mr. Mike Jones

It’s a game of milestones for some familiar faces. Jonathan Bond is making his 125th career league appearance. Gennaro Riccardi makes his 50th league appearance for us, whilst Michele Marconi makes his 75th league appearance for us. Lets hope we can mark the three milestones with three points.

The first chance goes the way of the home side in the ninth minute. Dikguoci hits an effort from 20 yards, but Bond is equal to it. Five minutes later, Jonny Hayes takes a free kick from the left and aims for the back post. Palace have evidently switched off or decided that an unmarked Jagos Vukovic has no chance of scoring from 6 yards. Whichever it is, Vukovic capitalises fully and scores his third goal of the season. Scannell, who always seems to play well against us, beats the offside trap in the 17th minute. He’s one-on-one with Bond. The goal is inevitable. He coolly slides the ball under Bond from 18 yards. And watches in horror as he puts it wide. I’m amazed as he’s usually lethal against us. But I won’t complain! I’d be amazed if he misses another chance, so a second goal would be useful. Marconi looks to double our lead in the 24th minute, but his shot from 30 yards goes just over. Three minutes later, Marconi acts as provider for Federico Cenci, who shoots from 20 yards. The shot goes just wide. We’re piling the pressure on though. We win a free kick in the 29th minute. It’s 30 yards out and Hayes goes for goal. What a wast… what a goal! He thunders it in for his second goal of the season. Palace look to hit straight back, but Williams’ effort from 20 yards is just over the bar. Lubomir Zapotoka crosses from the right in the 36th minute and Cenci is 6 yards out. Larsen Kwarasey is on his toes and smothers Cenci’s effort before Palace clear to safety. They’re still on the ropes. Five minutes before half time, Hayes plays a long ball over the top. Ramage has the situation under control and dawdles back. Marconi recognises this and gives chase, beating Ramage to the ball. He slots under an onrushing Larsen Kwarasey from 16 yards and into the net for his second of the season and a perfect way to mark his 75th league appearance for us. In the second minute of stoppage time, Vonlanthen takes an outswinging corner to the far post. Beasley outjumps Bradley Johnson. His header from 12 yards is going in. And it would if it hadn’t been for Zapotoka on the line, who clears to keep our three-goal lead as the half-time whistle goes.

It’s been a perfect half away from home and we’re surely marking the milestones with three points. Eight minutes into the second half, Williams slips the ball through our defence. Oh dear. It’s Scannell. He’s 16 yards out. He inexplicably shoots wildly wide. Not a performance so far for his career highlights DVD, which makes a change. Ten minutes later, it’s Cenci’s turn to slip a ball in. Marconi picks it up and slides it just wide from 18 yards. Williams has a great chance from 10 yards in the 65th minute, but it’s straight at Bond. He can’t hold on to the shot, but recovers his parry to preserve the clean sheet on a milestone appearance. I make my first substitution in the 77th minute with Will Keane replacing Marconi. Vukovic picks up a knock just before the substitution. Two minutes later, he gets beaten to a ball by Scannell, but his shot from 12 yards goes wide. Vukovic is struggling, so I replace him in the 80th minute with Lasse Karlsen. The final action of note comes in the 82nd minute when Hayes shoots just wide from 12 yards.

Result: Crystal Palace 0-3 Exeter City
Man of the Match: Jonny Hayes
Ratings: GK-Bond (7.1), DR-Zapotoka (7.5), DCR-D’Avanzo (7.7), DCL-Vukovic (8.4, G, sub 80), DL-Riccardi (7.5), DMC-Spearing (7.2), MCR-Matip (6.9), MCL-Johnson (7.0), AMR-Hayes (9.0, G, 2A), AML-Cenci (8.0, A), ST-Marconi (7.7, G, sub 78). Subs-Keane (on 78), Karlsen (on 80). Unused subs-Spasov, Michel, Varga.
Attendance: 8,723
League Position: 1st
Match Stats:

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Palace home #FM12

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The second half was a bit of a non-event, but we’d sewn the points up in the first half with a stunning performance. Granted we’re top and Palace are one from bottom, but we were away from home and controlled the game. It certainly helped that Scannell had a stinker, but a great victory for us.

The physio reports on Jagos Vukovic and it’s no wonder that Scannell was able to beat him to the ball as he picked up a thigh strain that will keep him out for 2 weeks. Better news from the game against Palace is that Jonny Hayes and Federico Cenci get named in Team of the Week.

A few players go out on loan for a month: Mirco Franchini goes to Cheltenham Town, Bruno Pierrat goes to MK Dons, Millwall take Daniel Paxton and Raif Boric goes to Bath City.

Read Growing the Grecians #43.

Read from Growing the Grecians #1.

Growing the Grecians #16 – Not a great exhibition

After out less than inspiring performance at West Ham, we welcome 21st-placed Crystal Palace to St. James Park. We’re evens favourites, but Palace have Sean Scannell up front and he always seems to score against us, not to mention how poor we were last time out. I make two changes, with Jagos Vukovic coming in for Sean Morrison and Ryan Mason (who is making his 50th career appearance for us) for Michel; Bertin Matip also reaches a milestone as he makes his 25th career appearance. We start well and in the 9th minute, Mason plays in Dacian Varga, but Larsen-Kwaresey turns it behind for a corner. It proves to be a vital save for Palace, who score four minutes later. Pele plays a long ball forward, Scannell runs on to it and slots it past Jonathan Bond from 16 yards, confirming all my pre-match fears. Varga has another attempt in the 18th minute, but it’s straight at Larsen-Kwaresey – he can’t hold on to it, but Palace are able to clear. It takes until the 40th minute for further action of note to happen when Jonny Hayes shoots over from 20 yards. In stoppage time, Mason slides in Michele Marconi, but Larsen-Kwaresey is out quickly, smothers and Palace are able to preserve their lead going in to half time.

A slow start springs in to life in the 58th minute when Marrow plays in Cox, who rounds Bond and scores to extend Palace’s lead. We’re certainly showing no signs of an improved performance after our trip to West Ham, although Hayes goes close from 20 yards 4 minutes after we go two-down. Matip picks up a yellow card in the 64th minute and I make a double substitution, with Morrison replacing Gennaro Riccardi and Federico Cenci coming on for Varga. A minute after coming on, Cenci is fouled and Marrow picks up a yellow card. Cenci proves to be an inspired change – in the 69th minute, he runs down the left, cuts inside and curls a shot past Larsen-Kwaresey and in off the far post for his 8th goal of the season. It’s a great goal and I’m uncertain where it’s come from considering the previous 68 minutes. Aiman Mustafa comes on for Marconi in the 72nd minute, but neither side is able to carve out any more chances and Palace leave with all three points. Federico Cenci’s 26 minute cameo is enough to win Man of the Match, with a rating of 8.1 and a goal and we stay 4th.

Following another disappointing performance and result, we welcome two more players on trial for a week: Uruguayan striker Carlos Maria Tabarez and Cameroonian ML/ST Jean-Baptiste Wamba. Covnetry offer to loan Konstantin Manov for a month and it’s agreed by all parties.

Read Growing the Grecians #17.

Read from Growing the Grecians #1.