Brought the club’s match day programme, ‘The Grecian’ for £3 (the largest programme in the league at 102 pages!) and made our way through the turnstile.
Famous fans include Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, Adrian Edmondson, Mark Nicol, Noel Edmonds, swimmer Liam Tancock, and Hoosiers drummer Alan Sharland. Singer Joss Stone signed up as a member of the supporters trust, being introduced to fans on the pitch as a new member during a League Cup match against Liverpool.
I opted to stand on the Blackthorn Big Bank that was decked in sun. The last time that I was in terracing for a football game was around a decade ago at Peterborough United, and I was interested to know whether standing improved the atmosphere at a football match. You often hear that statement being made on national radio. There was an impressive range of fans of all ages on the bank, and the ground seemed generally virtually full apart from in the away end.
Why were you looking forward to visiting the St James' Park football ground?
Having got the London to Exeter St David's train we caught another train that takes you to straight to the ground at a station called St James Park. If you walk out of here the grandstand is clearly in view.
Please note that proof of age maybe required for Over 61's and Under 18's tickets.
The College of Humanities achieved fantastic success, with five winners and five runners-up, including Best Subject for English and Best Research Supervisor for Dr Kirsty Martin
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting St James' Park?
The journey was long but is nearly all motorway so was very easy. The car parking in Exeter is strange, as it is all controlled parking permit zones around the ground and towards the city centre. However, I noticed that mixed in with the permit zones are random free parking spaces. These are few and far between and I was lucky to get one.
Exeter boss Paul Tisdale hails the 'class' of Ethan Ampadu after the 15-year-old became the club's youngest player.
Things didn’t start too brightly for Notts as we fell behind after just eight minutes thanks to our own defender heading in from a corner. However, after sixteen minutes, Ben Burgess fired home the equaliser. Notts then had a strong penalty appeal turned down, and stopper Stuart Nelson parried the ball out for a corner from a dangerous free kick. Both sides had numerous chances to take the lead but it remained level at the break.
Man Utd want Everton's Seamus Coleman, Philippe Coutinho set for new Liverpool deal, Roberto Mancini eyeing England job, plus more.
There is a Social Club at the ground itself, which allows in away supporters. Paul Stillwell a visiting Luton Fan informs me; 'Just a minute walk from the away end of the ground is the St Anne's Well on Well Street. Local ales, nicely cooked food, Wifi, BT and Sky Sports and friendly bar staff. It is very popular with away fans'. About a ten minute walk away on Stoke Hill, is the Stoke Arms, which also has BT and Sky Sports.
I chose Exeter Central station which is not that far away from the ground. The trains to/from London Waterloo and Exmouth stop at this station which seems to silently wish that it had the same profile as St Davids but knew that it could not quite reach that status despite being close to the impressive city centre shopping arcades.
City's only major trophy so far has been the Fourth Division Championship which it won in 1990. In that season, City won 20 league games at St James Park, and remained undefeated in 31 home matches, including dramatic draws against Norwich City in the FA Cup third round and Sunderland in the League Cup 4th round, both of which featured late equalisers for the visitors.
After managing the club to a famous F.A. Cup Third Round draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United in 2005, Alex Inglethorpe left the club in June 2006 to join the coaching staff at Tottenham Hotspur.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
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It immediately became apparent that Exeter City was a true community club. I had been sceptical about the phrase that was everywhere across the programme that “we own our football club.” I have been to many football clubs that seem to have a community connection based on name only but Exeter was not one of those places.
The nearest railway station is St James Park, which is adjacent to the ground and only a short walk away, However this station is on a local line and most fans will arrive first into the mainline stations of Exeter St Davids or Exeter Central, from which you can then get a local train to St James Park.
St James Park is a ground that is just beautiful in many ways, it may not be the most modern or glamourous looking grounds but it oozes character and is a true symbol of lower league football.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Atmosphere was good from both sets of fans throughout the game. The stewards were adamant we sat down but all in all they were quite friendly and good natured.
On 3 October 1908, City got its record highest FA Cup win: Exeter City 14–0 against Weymouth. The match was in the First Qualifying Round. James ("Daisy") Bell scored six goals, and 10 of Exeter's 14 goals came in the first half.
On 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the winning goal scored by Sid Thomas, who was to serve the club in various capacities for 70 years. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons.
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Before the game I went onto Exeter Quayside. It was a lovely sunny day and I found out that Exeter is a beautiful city. On the quay there are a few places to eat/get a drink. These establishments are particularly nice as you can eat/drink next to the waters edge. Everyone I came into contact with were friendly and chatty.
Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old field used for fattening pigs, St James Park (not to be confused with the homes of Newcastle United or Brackley Town). Exeter remain at St James Park to this day. The club is nicknamed "The Grecians". For the 2016–17 season City's home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the club's supporters through the Exeter City Supporters' Trust.
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Former City player George Reader went on to referee the 1950 World Cup final, becoming the first Englishman to do so.
1. Why were you looking forward to going to the ground?
Official Web Site: www.exetercityfc.co.uk Unofficial Web Sites: Supporters Trust Disabled Supporters Association
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The match day programme is an impressive read packed full of stats and player ratings, whilst the bottle of Sprite, which was particularly needed on this very warm day, was £1:50 which is the going rate for these drinks in this age of austerity.
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Exeter City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
Following such a strong season, hopes were high for the 2011–12 season, but poor away form (with just two wins away from home all season) saw Exeter relegated to League Two. Relegation was confirmed on the 28 April 2012, following a 4–1 defeat away to Carlisle United.