• Nathan Smith

Exeter City captain Matt Jay on title ambitions, promotion celebrations & upcoming Northampton game

Updated: May 16

Exeter City captain Matt Jay is setting his sights on lifting the Sky Bet League Two trophy ahead of Exeter's final two games, starting with a trip to Sixfields Stadium to take on Northampton.

The Grecians secured promotion last Tuesday evening with a 2-1 win at home against Barrow, but being level on points with league leaders Forest Green Rovers has given Jay and the team some extra ambition going into the last two games of the season.

Speaking ahead of the Northampton game, Jay said: "We all enjoyed ourselves on Tuesday night, and some probably did on Wednesday night as well, but we had a meeting today and we said what do we want from the next couple of games and it makes it very easy for us because it is there for us and we can do it, it’s quite simple, we want to get the title if we can.

"We’ve got a couple of very tough games, third and fourth, and if you would have told me this would have happened at the start of the season (winning the league), I wouldn’t have believed you.

"It makes our jobs a little bit easier, because we can’t relax, promotion is amazing but to say you went up as champions is something extra special.

"That’s where our minds are at the moment, we feel like we can do it."

It certainly won't be easy for Exeter on Saturday, as Northampton also have promotion ambitions, and a win for them could see them secure automatic promotion, if other results go there way.

Another thing going against the Grecians is their poor record against the Cobblers, having only won once in their last 12 encounters, but the City skipper wants to play a similar role that Barrow attempted to play against his side on Tuesday.

"We’ve not had the best experiences against Northampton over the years and they are a very difficult team to play against, but like what Barrow tried to do for us last Tuesday, we want to spoil the party."

"It’s going to be a real tough test, they have amazing form at home, they make it really difficult for the opposition but we’ve not got any pressure on ourselves which will hopefully play into our hands."

"We’ve got 1500 fans going to Northampton, and we want to make their trip worthwhile."

On a personal level, Jay has the opportunity to hit the 20 goal mark once again this season, something that he wouldn't of believed over a month ago.

"If you’d had told me that around six weeks ago with the form I found myself in, I was finding it a bit difficult to score consistently, so I wouldn’t have believed you.

"To hit good form at the right time, I think I had an assist for Oz (Offrande Zanzala), and a couple of important goals, it’s been great for me, if I can get back to back 20 goals in a season, it would be terrific.

"The personal goal was around the 20 mark again, so hopefully I can do that."

Many have said Matt Jay was the perfect goal scorer for the promotion winning goal, having risen from the Academy set up to become club captain.

So it was no surprise that adrenaline and emotions took over when he fired the ball past Paul Farman to fire his local side into League One, although it may have robbed the fans of a unique celebration.

"It all happened so fast but I just remember thinking to get a good touch and keep my head over the ball, and next thing I know I’m running off to the fans.

"It was fantastic, and it all worked out the way I wanted it to in the end.

"I actually had a backflip celebration ready to go, because a lot of people heard that I had a bit of a gymnastics background, but I haven’t quite managed to the round-off backflip Randell Williams used to do, and a lot of people were rooting for that and I had it all planned out, but as soon as it hit the back of the net I just did not know what to do.

"I thought the best thing to do was my usual fist pump and run around in circles, so I wish I had a better routine but I think emotions took over, and it looked good in the end."

Jay will be hoping to unleash the backflip as Exeter look to go top of the league with a win against promotion chasers Northampton.