Exeter City

St James' Park

Capacity: 8,830 (3,800 Seated)
Address: Stadium Way, Exeter, Devon, EX4 6PX
Telephone: 01392 411 243
Fax: 01392 413 959
Pitch Size: 114 x 73 yards
Club Nickname: The Grecians
Year Ground Opened: 1904
Shirt Sponsors: Flybe
Kit Manufacturer: Joma
Home Kit: Red and White
Away Kit: Fluorescent Yellow & Black

Ivor Doble Stand
Ivor Doble Stand
The Grandstand
The Grandstand
Big Bank Terrace
Big Bank Terrace
St James' Road Terrace
St James' Road Terrace
Ivor Doble Stand External View
Ivor Doble Stand External View

The ground is a mixture of the old and the modern. On one side is the old Grandstand that was originally opened in 1926. It is all seated, covered and has windshields to either side. However, it is in size about half the length of the pitch and although part of it straddles the half way line, it mostly sits to one side towards the St James’ Terrace End. This means that the area to the other side of stand is open and apart from a row of floodlight pylons is unused for spectators. Although not readily apparent from inside the ground, this is due to the very close proximity of a railway line, running behind this side of the ground. The Grandstand also has an unusual set of small floodlights aligned along the front of its roof, that protrude at an awkward angle. It also The team dug outs are also situated on this side.

Opposite is the WTS Stand which is the newest addition to the ground and was opened in 2001. This smart looking all seater stand, is single tiered, with some executive boxes located in the middle to the rear. At one end is the Thatchers 'Big Bank' covered terrace, which was opened in February 2000 and replaced a former open terrace. This stand is quite impressive looking and with a capacity of just under 4,000, means it is now the largest terrace left in the Football League. Unusually both the WTS & Thatchers Big Bank Stands, have an open gap between the roof and back of the stands. The other end is a very small open terrace, called the St James Road terrace. This end is given to away supporters. It is that small, you can clearly see a row of houses that sit beyond it, from which the residents get a great view of the game!

The Club have received permission from the local council to re-develop the old Grandstand, including the building of new student accommodation behind the existing Big Bank Terrace. The income from the student accommodation would fund the building of a 2,800 capacity stand, including club offices, corporate facilities and team changing rooms. There is also a possibility if budgets allow, to also make improvements to the St James' Road Terrace. Formal timescales have yet to be announced as to when works will take place.

Away fans are mostly housed in the St James’ Road terrace at one end of the ground, where just over 1,000 fans can be accommodated. In addition the Club make 150 seats available to visiting supporters in the Grandstand. The facilities in both these areas are basic. The views from the St James’ Road terrace are not great as due to its limited size fans are situated quite low down and close to the pitch. It is also does not have a cover and is open to the elements. Although the Grandstand is covered, it does have some supporting pillars running across its front which may affect your view. I personally have enjoyed my visits to St James’ Park, with no problems experienced.

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.

Otherwise, the ground is walkable from the city centre where there are plenty of pubs. Mike Faulkner from Somerset, recommends the Duke Of York and the Amber Rooms in Sidwell Street. Whilst Tony Fort recommends 'The Victoria' on Victoria Road (follow Victoria Street from the back of the Grandstand). As Tony says 'You can park here (for free) but it is a good 10-15 minutes walk from the ground and steep! The pub is great, very "studenty", but full of friendly Exeter supporters. Both the food and ale were excellent both from a quality and value perspective'. Whilst Mick Hubbard adds; 'We walked on from the city centre towards the ground and, instead of following Old Tiverton Road which leads to the ground, we forked right, up Blackboy Road and stopped at the Bowling Green pub, which is about a quarter of a mile from the ground.  We enjoyed this pub very much - good beer (i.e. proper ale), comfortable and quite airy, very friendly (locals were hospitable and fans of both clubs mixed amicably) and a separate pool table for those so inclined. A definite recommendation'.   

If you require hotel accommodation in Exeter then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

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Leave the M5 at Junction 30 and follow 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.  

Post Code for SAT NAV: EX4 6PX

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.

Exeter Central is the closer of the two mainline stations is just under a mile away from the ground and should take around 20 minutes to walk. As you come out of the main station entrance, turn left and proceed along Queen Street. As the road bends around to the right, continue straight on along the pedestrianised area. At the end of this area (where it meets the High Street) turn left and then continue along Sidwell Street. After the roundabout turn left into St James’ Road for the ground.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

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Home Fans
WTS Main Stand (Centre)* Adults £25, Over 61's £21, Under 18's/Students £12
WTS Main Stand (Wings)* Adults £24, Over 61's £20, Under 18's/Students £10
Stagecoach Family Grandstand* Adults £20, Over 61's £16, Under 18's/Students £6
Thatchers Big Bank: Adults £16, Over 61's £13, Under 18's/Students £5 

Away Fans*:
Stagecoach Family Grandstand* Adults £20, Over 61's £16, Under 18's/Students £6
St James Road Terrace: Adults £16, Over 61's £13, Under 18's/Students £5

* These prices are for ticket purchased in advance of matchday (up to three hours before kick off). Tickets bought after the cut off point can cost £1 more.

Please note that proof of age maybe required for Over 61's and Under 18's tickets.

Official Programme £3

Exeter City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United.

Record Attendance

21,014 v Sunderland, FA Cup 6th Round Replay, March 4th, 1931.

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 4,008 (League Two)
2014-2015: 3,873 (League Two)
2013-2014: 3,701 (League Two)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Exeter City v Hull City
League Cup Second Round
Tuesday 23rd August 7.45pm
Marcos Brown-Garcia (Hull City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the St James' Park Ground?

I've never been to Exeter City and their St James' Park ground before. So I wanted to get it ticked off. This was to be ground number 68 of the 92 for me!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

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.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

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.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of St James' Park?

My first impression was that St James' Park has character. Once inside I thought that the ground was slightly bigger than I had originally thought. I was disappointed with the away terrace. Originally I was going to stand but the view you see on the television is misleading. On tv it appears the terrace is up to the pitch edge, however there is a large space which is off limits between the pitch and terrace itself. This results in spectators stood well back from the pitch. The stand is also low. These two factors result in a poor view of the playing action. Because Hull didn't bring the largest away following, there was plenty of room in the seated area. I moved into there. The view here was much better. I am not sure if it was a one off? but the away fan seated area was not in the old Grandstand. It was in the newer grandstand and this stand has no obstruction to the playing action.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

I enjoyed the game. Exeter City went into the lead with a superb long range effort. We equalised immediately and controlled the game after that. We scored two more and won 3-1. The Exeter fans in the large terrace at one end are passionate and tried to create a good atmosphere. They have a drum and it was nice to see them backing their team. Facilities and food are basic but more than acceptable. Stewards were pleasant but insisted on searching everyone, even my eleven year old daughter. I found this over the top. It was clear the type of fans City brought were not the troublesome minority.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy. I was back on the motorway in ten minutes and back home around 3am.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoy coming back to the lower league grounds. They are my favourite type of ground. If I ever come back I will stay over since Exeter is a lovely place. Good to get the win, me and my daughter loved the day out! I recommend Exeter for an away day! It always seems better when the sun shines but out of the 68 I have done, I would easily place Exeter in my top five!

Exeter City v Plymouth Argyle
Football League Two
Saturday 2nd April 2016, 3pm
Tom Harris (Plymouth Argyle fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting St James' Park?

My first 'Devon Derby' at Exeter City. A huge game with a lot at stake for both teams. It promised to be a good match and occasion.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took one of the supporters coaches that left Plymouth at 12.15pm. We arrived at Exeter Services and hour later, where we were met by the Police who gave us a hefty Police escort to the ground. There was shouting at us and a view gestures from the Exeter City fans as we went by, but that is what we expected. It is a derby game after all.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

There were already queues outside the away end when we arrived. So after getting off the coach we headed straight into the ground, in order to get a good position on the terracing to watch the game.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of St James' Park?

My first impressions was that it was a small ground, as it couldn't be seen from a distance. We literally turned a corner and there it was. Inside the ground, then the 'Grandstand' on our left looked very dated. On our right was a larger and more modern stand, whilst opposite was the 'Big Bank' home terrace, where most of the home atmosphere came from. We were stood on the tiny away away end, which felt uncomfortable with the sheer amount of our fans who seemed to be crammed onto it (it was sold out for this game). Plus it didn't help that most fans seemed to be congregating in one area of the terrace rather than being evenly spread over it. Perhaps Exeter should look at rectifying this (as it felt quite unsafe when we scored) or look at reducing the overall numbers of fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

We couldn't see much of the first half because we had a steward and the goal in the way but the second half was a lot easier viewing as Argyle were playing towards us. When we scored the away end went into meltdown. People were flying everywhere, and a lot of people ended up a fair distance from where they originally stood. Some fans even ended up on the perimeter around the pitch, some in celebration, but others climbing the barrier at the front of the terrace, to avoid the mayhem and crushing behind. Two late goals from the home side, meant that the game ended in defeat for Plymouth.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

At the end of the game the Argyle fans were let straight out. We attempted to walk back to our coach but a Policeman tried to direct us in a different direction which didn't help. The Police seemed a bit on edge after the game, but I learned later that there had been trouble in the town centre before the match, so may be that had something to do with their behaviour? Eventually we got onto our coach and were back in Plymouth by 6.30pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All aspects of the day were poor from the result to the conditions of the away end. Still I would definitely go to Exeter again, simply because its the Devon Derby, saying that I hope we get promoted so I don't have to go next season! 

Exeter City v Bristol Rovers
Football League Two
Saturday 28th Novermber 2015, 3pm
Laurence Wild (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the St James' Park football ground?    

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.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

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.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We spent the time in 'Red Square' where there's a bar, locally sourced burger van and programme sellers to keep you entertained in a vibrant atmosphere.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of St James' Park?    

The ground has two modern stands and two older ones. The latter includes the away terrace which is a few steps of concrete with not much to it and the Old Grandstand which seats just over 1,000 people, often shared with away supporters if demand requires it. There is then the fabulously looking Main Stand which a typical modern all-seated stand that runs along the length of the pitch opposite the grandstand. Unlike the Grandstand, there are no supporting pillars and there is a row of sleek executive boxes as well as match day hospitality facilities. This stand holds over 2,000. Finally, there is the largest standing terrace left in English football- the Big Bank home terrace. Holding just under 4,000 people, this is the most vociferous of the stands and where a large chunk of the home support congregate. It can create a fantastic atmosphere, making it intimidating for the opposing team and the away fans whom they look down on.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game ended in a 1-1 draw, thanks to a last minute strike from Exeter's Jamie Reid and the atmosphere in the Big Bank was very good with singing for most of the match. With no roof on the away end, little atmosphere can be created there. The stewards in the home ends were most relaxed and allowed the Exeter 'ultras' to bring in various flags and drums. I can't comment on the pies but last time I had one there it wasn't great! Toilets are large enough in the Big Bank although I did hear that they're pretty abysmal in the away end.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was easy, simple train from St James Park to Exeter St David's. Devon & Cornwall police were very visible at the station and stayed until the Gasheads had gone home.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out despite the rain and St James Park is a lovely little ground that I'd encourage anybody to visit.

Exeter City v Preston North End
League One
Saturday, March 17th, 2012, 3pm
Paul Willott  (Preston North End fan)

Once again, as a Northender exiled in Kent, I had the luxury of a pleasant drive down the A303 towards Devon.  It does make a welcome change from never ending motorways, and there are plenty of sights to see along the way.
 
Having done my home-work with an atlas the night before, I had pretty much worked out that once I had passed under the M5 I needed to keep straight ahead across several junctions before trying to home in on the ground some where to my right once near the city centre.
 
This seemed to work, and just as well as I found sign-posting to be almost non-existent, so beware!   Just at the point where I was beginning to think "oh dear", I suddenly chanced upon a fair number of pedestrians in red and white shirts walking in one direction, so breathed a sigh of relief and spied the ground to my left as I drove along the Old Tiverton Road.  I turned right at the roundabout at the end of the road, where St. James Parish church sits, and found some suitable parking and then walked back to the ground.
 
The ground itself, named after the Parish church, makes away fans welcome on a tiny terrace behind one goal, open to the elements.  At the opposite end is the modern rebuilt terrace which has a peculiar profile to one side due to the proximity of a railway line and alongside the railway line is an old Grandstand, part of which is allocated to away fans should they wish to sit. To the right of the 'away' end, or St. James Road terrace, is another new stand that looks very tidy.
 
I liked the appearance of this ground very much, nestling amongst its rather cramped and confined environment quite cosily. Although not required on this mid-March afternoon, the lighting consists of a set of old poles along side the old Grandstand with a few lights attached to each pole, and more modern lights on the new stand opposite, so I suspect that the ground never did have the traditional floodlight pylons. Indeed there would have been no room in at least one corner due to the aforementioned railway line.
 
I mentioned before in an earlier report how I liked the noise made by Swindon's home support, and Exeter's fans deserve just as much credit if not more.  For a team trying to stave off relegation, and losing for the majority of the match, they rarely let up a noisy barrage of support.
 
Its always great to see your team win away from home, yet I felt a tinge of sympathy with the home fans as they sang their hearts out, and complete with drums a plenty on the home terrace they made a great atmosphere, so I hope they stay up come the end of season shakedown.
 
I returned to my car, and for ease I drove a different route out of town relying on instinct and sense of direction which soon brought me to the A30  from where I could trundle under the M5 and onto the A303 and home reflecting on a pleasant afternoon's football.  
 
I think most fans will enjoy Exeter City; but do your map homework beforehand unless you rely on satnav, and have clothing to hand that you may need for an open terrace!

Exeter City v Notts County
League One
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011, 7.45pm
James Spring (Notts County fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to the ground?

Being a Notts County fan living in Weymouth, it's not too often I get to watch my beloved Magpies. But an early season trip to Exeter city, albeit on  Tuesday night, had been on the agenda since the fixtures came out. Notts had started the season pretty well, and this would be their 3rd game in 5 days having played Juventus in a showpiece friendly the previous Thursday, and then won at home to Walsall on the Saturday. Exeter had a sluggish start to the season, picking up just 4 points from their first 7 games, although they had played Liverpool  in the Carling Cup 3 weeks previously and were by no means disgraced.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

This was my second visit to St James’ park. We left Weymouth at 4:45pm, had tea at a McDonalds on the way, and had arrived in the city by around 6:30pm. We parked in a multi-storey car park on Belgrave Road and walked to the ground. It’s simple, head towards Summerland Street from the car park, go left, and then go right once you reach Sidwell Street. There are plenty of food outlets along this road, such as Pizza Hut and KFC, along with a couple of pubs.  Keep heading along Sidwell street, straight through the roundabout, until you reach St James’ road. Go left, and you reach the away end.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy, home fans friendly?

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.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of the away end and other sides of the ground?

We had paid for tickets in the away terrace behind the goal, but being a Tuesday night, only around 180 Notts fans had made the trip so we were all put in the Grandstand away seating area.  This is a very old fashioned stand, only running around half the length of the pitch, but the view is pretty good. Opposite is the modern looking Flybe Stand, and behind the goal to the left a large banked terrace where the louder city fans seemed to congregate.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, pies, stewards, toilets etc.

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.

The toilets are in a sort of wooden shed on the side of the stand, so don’t expect much!

Food is pretty good, served from a hut in the corner of the away end with the usual selection of pies, drinks and pasties, there was even a Dominos pizza man walking around the ground.

Second half was just as open as the first half, with both sides having numerous opportunities to take all three points. City could/should have won it just minutes from the end, when a defensive lapse allowed Daniel Nardiello to go through one on one with Nelson, but the County keeper was able to make a good save low down. Full time, 1-1, both sides seemed content with a draw.

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.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We walked back towards the car park without any bother. A couple of home fans wished us a safe journey home (have to say, didn’t envy the other Notts fans travelling back to Nottingham!). There was a bit of traffic getting out of the city centre as you would expect, but nothing too bad and we got home just after 11pm.

7. Summary of overall thoughts

All in all, a good evening out. Home fans are friendly enough, and you can sense that Exeter is a real community club. An entertaining game of football, a fair result in the end and a decent point for both sides.  Wouldn’t hesitate to return next season if we’re still both in League One...

Exeter City v Oldham Athletic
League One
Friday, April 22nd, 2011, 3pm
Tim Sansom (Neutral supporter)

Heatstroke at St James Park
 
1. Why were you looking forward to going to the ground?

Having recently moved to Exeter for work reasons, I wanted to visit the city’s football club to catch some local football action before the end of the 2010-2011 season. There are not many clubs in this part of the UK and when you are totally new to the area, you can learn a lot about the people and the place by catching a game with the locals. I was determined to be present at one of the final games of this campaign where Exeter still had an outside chance of reaching the League One play offs.

I knew very little about Exeter City Football Club other than what had appeared in the national media i.e Uri Geller, bent spoons, relegation to the conference, Michael Jackson, an impressively tailored current manager in Paul Tisdale as well as a memorable third round FA cup tie against Manchester United from a few seasons ago that had attracted the BBC and Match of the Day. You could certainly not accuse me of arriving at St James Park with any preconceptions of the football that Exeter would play nor what the ground would be. I always would suggest that you need to get to football with a clear mind which made this particular trip more exciting.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/ car parking?

It was a fairly easy journey to St James Park although this success was mostly based on a vague knowledge where the ground was in relation to the rest of the city. It is difficult to think of a city of the size of Exeter that has so many stations within the city, and you need to choose St James Park halt which is right next to the ground. Check that your train stops at St James Park because not all do. The main Exeter St Davids station (on the main London to Penzance line and the centre of railway life) is a good walk away from the ground and if you are not used to hills, it could take a while to hike your way from St Davids to St James Park.

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.

When coming out of Exeter Central, you should make a long and lomely walk to the ramps at the far end of the platforms, turn left over the bridge, turn right at the roundabout and follow the railway line to the impressively named Pennsylvania Road, turn left into that road and turn right after passing a CO-OP general store on the left into Powderham Crescent. You will start to hear the PA music from the ground and after walking the full length of the Crescent and crossing the railway line, you will see the stadium in front of you.

However at a time when I would expect football specials to be running to St James Park for this game (around 2:30pm) there seemed to be nothing on the flickering display boards at Exeter St Davids station. This may have been due to the fact that this Friday was Good Friday, a bank holiday and not an especially high profile game. However, there were signs around Exeter St Davids and Central regarding special trains to the football ground for the eagerly anticipated Devon Derby versus Plymouth Argyle. Check before you travel is probably the best advice.

3. What did you think when seeing the ground/ first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I arrived at the Well Street end of the ground, and although the old stand would not win many architectural awards, I was immediately interested in the atmosphere that seemed to be very friendly in the blistering un-April like sun. I had arrived beside the family stand sponsored by the local bus company, with netting around the edge of the ground to stop stray balls flying into the steep railway valley beside the ground.

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.

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.

As well as a number of volunteers bustling around the ground, a quick read through the programme could tell you about the number of community initiatives that were taking place at the club. The Exeter City Supporters Trust is a big feature of this club, and there were a number of articles about local school boys being given their much sort-after contracts. There would also be a testimonial on the May Day Bank Holiday Monday for Exeter’s number nine, Adam Stansfield, who had tragically died of cancer during this campaign.

It is easy to get misty eyed about a football club in the community. Many clubs talk about ‘community’ but this wish only seems to stretch to attracting local businesses to pay premium seats for corporate lunches. However, there really did seem to be something genuine about the activities in St James Park. A football club should never forget about where they are based and in this case, the club needed to add an extra ‘s’ to make it Exeter City ‘s Football Club.

4. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies and toilets:

The game was surprisingly entertaining. It became pretty obvious early on that Exeter City can play some football and attractive football too with lots of passing across the pitch with apparent attacking wing backs too, which my narrow football mind believed could never be seen in League One football. Oldham seemed to be struggling to wake up and get their game together for most of the first half. They did have some shots on goal, but by the time of the half time whistle, Athletic were two goals down and it was obvious as the second half progressed that they were going to struggle to get anything from this game unless City made mistakes.

The impressively named Troy Archibald-Henville was particularly catching my eye in the Exeter defence. This big lad was making a series of crucial tackles as well as continually talking and marshalling the defence. By and large, Oldham were only able to offer a few shots on goal, but these shots did provoke some impressive saves from Ben Hamer who was playing his last game for Exeter whilst on loan from Reading. At the end of the game, Hamer threw his shirt into the crowd as a parting gesture, and he had made a small but important contribution to the game.

It seems that Jamie Cureton has been playing football for ever and it seems that a number of fans wanted Cureton to win the player of the season award for his 16 goals scored as well as his general attitude of being on the last defender to get the ball into the back of the net. Cureton scored another goal in this game and seemed to be enjoying a particularly fruitfulIndian Summer to his career.

The atmosphere was bubbling away although never especially intense. I sensed that a number of fans were looking forward to the Devon Derby on the following Sunday and the chance to inflict more misery on Plymouth Argyle after a particularly wretched season at Home Park. There was also some nervous anticipation wondering whether Exeter would get in the play offs although it was surprisingly played down throughout the match day programme. The play offs were not mentioned in the manager’s notes, which is a welcome change from my own club whose every sniff of a top league finish is treated as international ‘breaking news.’

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.

5. Comment on getting away from the ground:

Coming away from the ground was very simple. Going down Well Street and York Road into Sidwell Street takes about ten minutes and puts you right into the city centre and it is a very impressive city centre. The bus station is not that far away too on Paris Street. You would retrace your steps to Exeter Central to take your train to a destination further afield. Being not in some random out-of-town shopping centre miles away from the heart of the city, means that St James Park is an easy trip for the football fan, but you need to have some knowledge of where the stadium is in relation to the city. Do not just rely on a particular train to get you to and away from the stadium.

6. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed my visit to Exeter City Football Club. To the friends that appreciate that football is played outside of the Champions League, I was waxing lyrically away about my time at St James Park throughout the Friday evening although being directly under the sun for nearly ninety minutes had made me increasingly tired and sleepy.

I would recommend a visit to St James Park when you get a chance. Do not expect St James Park in Exeter to be anything like St James’ Park in Newcastle but this is a club that has not forgotten who its customers are. Away from the fight for the Premiership title, and the glamour Champions League ties between the Spanish giants as well as involving Manchester United, there is good quality football being played across the UK, and clubs that are working hard to establish themselves within the community. The fact that there were a number of younger fans at the game from school through to university age was surely a healthy sign for the future.

Why not write your own review of St James' Park Exeter City and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 31st August 2016

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