Julian Tagg: Exeter City's longest unbeaten run
- Credit: Steve Bond/Pinnacle
Our record-breaking run of 20 matches unbeaten finally came to an end, and it was a typical that it would be a cold night in Colchester that it happened.
It would always happen eventually, but it was an incredible run, and according to our resident historian Will Barrett and all the record books he and the team can get their hands on in the ECFC Museum – it was comfortably the longest unbeaten run in our 120-year history.
Some are calling it the curse of comedian John Bishop, who wished the club luck via social media, saying they would go top ahead of Forest Green Rovers, in his words: ‘a club named after a garden centre’.
It wasn’t to be, this time, but as ever in football, it was on to the next game, which was a draw away in the wind, snow and freezing temperatures of Rochdale on Saturday. It was therefore, all things considered, a decent point in challenging conditions and good to see a first goal for the club from George Ray, he’s a big personality and another fans’ favourite.
Next up we face Bradford AGAIN at St James Park, in the replay of the replay which was ordered by the FA, despite three parties being more than confused, but which resulted in us making too many substitutions. The high of beating Bradford 3-0 in extra time was short lived when the error came to light the next day.
We were asked for our response to this, and we gave our evidence to the FA and it was subsequently ruled that the match should be replayed on November 30. We have offered the hardy Bradford fans who do decide to make the trip down here free entry and, in addition to that, we will be donating our share of the profits to two charities, Exeter Foodbank and Bradford Central Foodbank.
No one wants to replay the game, but we have to adhere to the FA’s decision, and we’ll crack on and treat it as professionally as always.
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You may be aware recently there has been a review into football club ownership, importantly something to which our Supporters’ Trust has contributed considerably. It was interesting to see EFL chair Rick Parry break ranks to say that football needs a regulator. The Premier League keep saying they will level things up and the EFL, to its credit, is doing its best to ensure that football at the lower level remains sustainable - we wish them luck with that!
Exeter City Women continue to improve and impress. They are now through to the third round of the Women’s FA Cup – the first time in 20 years – after beating Eastleigh Women 5-0 away at the weekend. With a winnable away draw at Southampton, we’d love to see them get to the next round. The development team, an important part of women’s football progression at ECFC, also did incredibly well, winning their game 4-0.
There’s still time to join in the Santa Run, which takes place on Sunday December 5, organised by our partner charity, Exeter City Community Trust. It’s a fantastic community event, which sees Exeter High Street filled with hundreds of Santas. The city centre Santas are a spectacular sight to see, so rock up and watch or join in the fun.
We were proud to celebrate our partnership with the University of Exeter recently. We’ve worked with the university for 10 years on a huge range of projects, from Sporting Memories to player development. As a supporter-owned community club, relationships with organisations across the city are very important and we look forward to working with the university for many years to come.
And finally, it’s congratulations to 17-year-old striker Sonny Cox, who has been with the club since he was seven years old, and last week signed a new professional contract which will see him at the club until June 2024. He’s one of our own and he’s definitely one to watch!