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League Two

League Two Play-Off Final: Preview

29 June 2020

No strangers to the Play-Offs, Exeter City and Northampton Town return to Wembley this evening - the scene of previous defeats for both - with the aim of reaching Sky Bet League One.

They say it's not every year you get to Wembley, although for Exeter City reaching a Play-Off Final is a familiar feeling.
 
Tonight’s League Two Play-Off Final will be only the fourth time Northampton Town have visited the National Stadium, and will be their first visit since the 2012/13 season - a memorable day for Cobblers fans for all the wrong reasons after losing 3-0 to Bradford City.
 
For Exeter City however, tonight is their third visit to Wembley Stadium in just four seasons and they’ll be desperate to leave with silverware tonight, after suffering defeat in each of their previous two League Two Finals. 
 
In what is thought to be the first-ever competitive game to take place at Wembley behind closed doors, tonight's experience promises to be a unique one. But both managers will be hoping that their players find a way to cope with the silence in a huge venue. 
 
Opta Stats
 
o   This is Exeter’s third Football League Play-Off Final, losing each of their previous two in League Two in 2016-17 (1-2 vs Blackpool) and 2017-18 (1-3 vs Coventry).
 

o   Northampton Town are appearing in their fourth Football League Play-Off Final and first since 2012-13, when they lost 3-0 against Bradford. Their only win in a Final was in 1996-97 under Ian Atkins, a 1-0 win over Swansea City.

o   Exeter have won just one of their last nine League Two matches against Northampton (D2 L6), a 3-2 home win this season. They have failed to score in six of those nine encounters.

o   In all competitions, Northampton have only lost three of their last 27 games against Exeter (W17 D7 L3), a run stretching back to 1985.

o   The last time Exeter won a Play-Off Final at Wembley was in 2007-08, winning 1-0 against Cambridge United in the Conference Premier (now National League) final to reach the Football League. Current manager Matt Taylor played the full 90 minutes that day, as did full-back Dean Moxey in his first spell with the club.

o   In the semi-final, Northampton Town became only the third team in the history of the Football League Play-Offs  to lose the first leg by two or more goals at home and then progress to the final, after Bradford City in 1995/96 and Yeovil Town in 2006/07.

o   A victory for Exeter City would see them return to League One for the first time since the 2011/12 season, while Northampton last featured at that level in the 2017/18 campaign.

o   Northampton’s Callum Morton has scored with seven of his 11 shots on target in League Two this season (inc. Play-Offs) – all seven of his goals have been scored away from the Cobblers’ home stadium.

o   Exeter City striker Ryan Bowman has scored 14 League Two goals for the Grecians this season (inc. Play-Offs), double the amount of any other player.

o   Northampton boss Keith Curle last featured in a Football League Play-Off final back in 2003/04, leading Mansfield Town to the final of the fourth-tier play-offs against Huddersfield Town. After a goalless draw, the Stags lost 4-1 on penalties.

For exclusive build-up to tonight's Final, watch our video matchday programme below, or visit the EFL's official YouTube channel for exclusive interviews with both sides. 


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