The Exeter City insight that Hartlepool United must be wary of if they want to net an FA Cup windfall
Hartlepool welcome FA Cup replay opponents Exeter City tonight being warned that Sparkes may fly before a third-round place is decided.
Here, we look at how the League Two promotion-chasing Grecians may line up at Victoria Park – and who Pools should look out for . . . Jack Sparkes included.
Matt Taylor sets his side up in a 3-4-1-2 formation playing with attacking full-backs providing service to the two frontmen. Randell Williams and Jack Sparkes will offer pace on the counter-attack as well as to get early crosses into the box.
Pools will have to ensure they nullify the wing-backs, with both of Exeter’s goals in the first tie – a 2-2 draw at St James’s Park - coming from balls lofted into the box.
Williams has been the Grecians’ main threat this season with eight assists and two goals in League Two.
He has showcased excellent crossing and dead-ball ability helping Exeter climb to second in the league.
Josh Brown from Exeter’s media team has highlighted Williams’ impact on the Grecians this season.
He said: “Randell’s been a bit of a revelation this year – he’s always had pace and technical ability that belies the level he’s playing at.
“Offensively, starting from deep and then bombing on often gives him space to attack, and there are few players in the league better in 1v1 situations.”
Dean Moxey is the creative spark in central midfield for Exeter, capable of both carrying the ball forward and threading passes through to his attacking players.
Moxey is the difference between winning and losing in most games as he can dictate the pace of a game.
The Grecians sit second in League Two, occupying the final automatic promotion spot after some good early season form.
However, despite losing just once in their last 10 games, they have won just three times in that period - all by just the one goal.
We spoke to Sam Sterrett from Radio Exeter about the first game against Pools and the Grecians’ form.
He said: “Exeter had glorious chances to score three or four goals and put the game to bed in the first leg.
“I’m expecting another strong team this time out – and following another league win at the weekend, I’m feeling confident they’ll get the job done.”