Devon Derby – Plymouth Argyle vs Exeter City

Tonights night’s Checkatrade Trophy match between arch-Devon rivals Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City at Home Park (7.45 pm) has been given added spice, if it really needed it, by the two clubs’ respective League positions.

There is always a sense of eager anticipation when the Pilgrims and Grecians meet, regardless of the competition, and I am sure it would be much the same if they were playing tiddlywinks against each other.

No doubt, when the draw for the much-maligned Football League Trophy was made, the Green Army were looking forward to lording it over City after Argyle’s promotion last April saw them leave the Grecians behind in Sky Bet Two, with Exeter missing out in the play-off final to Blackpool at Wembley.

However, five months on, and even though the Pilgrims are lying in a higher division to City, their supporters do not have too much to crow about at the moment, and are starting to worry about the prospect of Argyle and the Grecians passing each other at the end of the campaign!

Argyle went into this weekend lying bottom of the League Two table, without a win in eight matches and finding it very hard to locate the back of the net.

The Pilgrims have lost their last four home games, and had a player sent off in each of them, with only one goal to their name in that miserable run of form at Home Park, while conceding 11 at the other end.

On the other hand, City went into yesterday’s home match with Morecambe sitting second in the League Two table, despite having lost their last two games, which saw them hand top spot over to Notts County, who beat them 3-0 at St James’ Park last Tuesday night.

They have already won at Cheltenham Town, Forest Green Rovers and Barnet on the road this season, and they would dearly love to add the Theatre of Greens to the list of venues where they have claimed scalps this term.

Argyle are sitting in a better position in their Checkatrade Trophy Southern Group D following their victory on penalties over Chelsea under-21s in August, after the match had finished 2-2 at the end of full time.

Exeter got their Trophy campaign off to a disappointing start with a 3-1 home defeat to Yeovil, who currently lead the pool, and they realistically need to win on Tuesday night if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.

The Pilgrims did the League double over Exeter last season, winning 2-0 at St James’ Park before triumphing 3-0 on their own patch, and they would dearly love to repeat that Home Park result to kick-start what has been a very disappointing campaign for them so far.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.