Town v Gown: Football Varsity 2012

Can the Green Machine sink the Grecians?


Excitement is building ahead of tomorrow’s ‘town v gown’ football varsity between local boys Exeter City FC. and the mighty Exeter University 1st team.

The students are aiming to secure their first victory over the Npower League Two side in the fifth annual varsity match.

Last time, the University led by two goals after a bright first half, driven by enthusiastic support from around 3000 student fans. But the professional side rallied in the second half and ensured they maintained their 100% record in the fixture by winning 3-2.

The result was one of our best against the Grecians, who have regularly won by larger margins. The chance to finally put one over on the locals is just one reason to be positive ahead of the fixture.

Varsity draws in the crowds

The 1st team avoided relegation last year to remain in the BUCS Division 1 South and the South West Peninsula League Division 1 East. Club Captain Brad Miles says the club is “optimistic” following a productive five day pre-season in the build up to their new campaign.

The squad trained every day at the University, before recording a 1-1 draw in their opening game of the season. Following this start the 1st team suffered three defeats due to having a depleted squad ahead of term time.

However in their last three games, the 1sts have turned this around with two victories and one draw.

Coach Dave Evans describes the current squad “the best we could have”. It includes captain Jessie Wilson at centre-half who also plays for Ascot United in the Hellenic League.

Mike Dale, a football scholar at the club, will likely start in the midfield in his third varsity. Striker Matt Langley excited last year by hitting the bar in the build up to Ben Nash’s goal, and has “naturally quick feet” according to Club Captain Brad.

Ben Nash (minus his shirt) celebrates at varsity 2011

This bodes well for a side who have been experimenting with their formation after losing their central midfielder Josh Madden, who broke his ankle at the start of the season.

Exeter City FC failed in their attempts to avoid relegation from League One last season. However, Manager Paul Tisdale is still in charge and his side started strongly in their League Two campaign.

Their impressive performances come despite losing forward Richie Logan to Wycombe Wanderers and star defender Troy Archibald-Henville to Paulo Di Canio’s Swindon Town.

Exeter City have won three of their last four games, and are the second top scorers in the league placing them third in Npower League Two.

The team before last year’s match

More fans than ever are expected to support the University this year, and the event includes the added attractions of the Exeter Cheerleaders, live music and student stalls.

Tickets can be purchased on campus and with all the proceeds of the £4 tickets going to the Adam Stansfield Foundation and Cardiomyopathy Association, this year’s varsity should not be missed.