All you need to know ahead of the Town's trip to St James ParkExeter City v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 1st November 2014, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player, DiverseFM, BBC3CR and lutontown.co.uk
WHO? The Town take on Exeter City Football Club, aka the Grecians next Saturday. The club were formed 1904 years ago and are currently in their third season in League 2 following relegation in 2011/12. Like the Hatters, the Grecians spent five years in the Conference and ended their spell in the fifth tier by beating Cambridge in the Play-Offs final at Wembley in 2008.
WHERE? The ground that is often confused with Newcastle’s St James’ Park – Exeter’s hasn’t got an apostrophe at the end of their James –was built in 1904 and opened in September that year. Its current capacity is 8,541 and its record attendance was 20,984 when Sunderland visited for an FA Cup quarter-final replay in 1931.
HOW TO GET THERE. From Luton, take the M1 south, M25 anti-clockwise. Take the M4 and then M5 south, leaving the M5 at Junction 30, following signs for Exeter city centre along Sidmouth Road (A379) and then onto Rydon Lane (A3015). Take the Sidmouth Road turn off (B3183) towards the city centre. Keep going towards the town centre as the road becomes Heavitree Road. On nearing the city centre, take the fourth exit at the large roundabout onto Western Way. At the next roundabout take the second exit onto Old Tiverton Road, then turn left into St James Road for the ground. There is street parking, but quite a way from the ground as there is a local residents’ scheme in operation. If you have a satnav, safely type in EX4 6PX in to it to get you there.
ON THE BOBBERS. It’s a three-and-a-half, 213-mile drive to Exeter but if you’d rather somebody else take you there why not travel with fellow Town fans on the Bobbers? They depart Luton train station bright and early at 8.30am and the fare is £33 for adults and £30 for concessions. Call 01234 856542 to book your place.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? The Town hold a decent record against the Grecians overall, winning 31 of the 58 previous meetings, which includes 12 matches (W6, L6) in the Southern League. The Hatters have drawn 12 and lost 15. The Hatters don’t have a bad record at St James Park, winning 12, losing 11 and drawing seven of their 30 previous trips to Exeter. The Town have won two and drawn one of their last three games away at Exeter, winning 5-0 in 1967, drawing 2-2 in 2001 and triumphing on their last visit 1-0 thanks to a Sam Parkin goal in 2008. Between 1934 and 1960 the Hatters won on four successive trips to St James Park.
THIS TIME ROUND. The Grecians have recovered from a bad start to the season to rise away from the relegation zone towards the relative comfort of midtable. City failed to win any of their first seven matches of the campaign, losing four. After a 1-1 draw at home to Oxford, Paul Tisdale’s side then four won matches on the spin all by a 2-1 scoreline – with three of those coming away from home at Cambridge, Tranmere and Dagenham & Redbridge.
EX-FACTOR. A number of players have served both the Town and the Grecians, but three former Town managers all once played for Exeter City in their careers. David Pleat played 69 Football League games for the Grecians between 1968 and 1970. Ray Harford, who guided the Town to the Littlewoods Cup in 1988, played 55 games for City between 1966 and 1967. Meanwhile Paul Buckle had three spells as a player at St James’ Park before going onto manage the Hatters.
LIVE AND ONLINE. Hatters Player is the only place to listen to online commentary of the Hatters this season and once again the DiverseFM team will be bringing subscribers all the action from St James Park. What’s more there will be a full report, reaction and photographs post-match and live text updates during the match itself.
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