Without even kicking a ball in anger, Fulham were able to enjoy a fixture less of competitive football now that they are a Premier League club. Meanwhile, 70 other clubs within the Football League competed in the first round of the Carabao Cup two nights ago. Among those was League Two outfit Exeter City, who was drawn today to face Fulham at Craven Cottage for the second round. Tentatively, that fixture will be scheduled for August 27th and it will be surprising if kickoff is any other time besides 19:45 local time.
Exeter advanced from their first round outing against an Ipswich Town that comprised mostly of their starting XI during the first few games under Paul Hirst’s tenure as manager. That didn’t stop the Grecians from winning on penalties in front of their home support at St. James Park. So Fulham may still consider putting in their second string outfit, but who knows if the likes of Matt O’Riley, Marlon Fossey, Luca De La Torre, and the rest of Fulham’s academy starlets will get a chance to impress. Still, it will be a neat experience north of the Thames to get another look at Fulham playing against a side they rarely play against.
Exeter City are coming off of a devestating Playoff Final defeat to Coventry City this past season that could have seen them promoted to League One. But that hasn’t stopped them from starting 2018/19 with a bang with wins over Carlisle United and Morecambe. The club are managed by former Grecian center back Matt Taylor and the highest they have ever finished in their 117-year history was a runners up finish to Brentford in the old Third Division South League in 1932/33, which was considered the third tier of English football back then.