YORK City striker Wes Fletcher is expected to remain on bench duty at Exeter City.

Last season's 13-goal top scorer has been used as a 71st-minute substitute in each of the Minstermen's last two matches after returning from the medial knee ligament injury he suffered back in March.

Fletcher marked his latest outing with an equalising penalty to earn City a 2-2 home draw against Cambridge United on Tuesday night but, despite being pleased with his comeback performances, manager Nigel Worthington still thinks it is too early to throw the 23-year-old forward, who played no part in pre-season, back in from the start.

The Bootham Crescent chief said: "If all goes well, we are still probably looking at a week to ten days before Wes starts a game because we are bringing him on gradually.

"He showed some lovely touches last weekend and was putting his body up against the centre halves and causing them problems the other night.

"When the whistle went for the penalty, he also sprinted to get the ball, which is a big thing because it shows belief. He then had the urgency to get the ball after he scored and ran back to the halfway line because he thought we could go on and win the game, so I am pleased with how he's coming along."

Michael Ingham, meanwhile, looks in line to kick off his first match in goal since losing his place between the sticks to last season's loan signing Nick Pope in January.

Ex-Tranmere net-minder Jason Mooney was also preferred to the long-serving Ingham for the first four matches of the current campaign only for the latter to be introduced as a half-time replacement against Cambridge after a difficult first half for his fellow Northern Irishman.

"In terms of the goalkeeping situation, we will make the decision that's right for the team," Worthington added.

Centre-back John McCombe is sweating on his starting place too after also making way for summer signing Dave Winfield at the interval on Tuesday night.

McCombe and Keith Lowe formed a formidable defensive partnership during the second half of last season as the Minstermen charged into a play-off place.

But Worthington has insisted that team selection is all about players' current form, explaining that last term's Press Player of the Year Lowe is not immune from being substituted or dropped either.

Ingham and former captain Chris Smith were both high-profile casualties of Worthington's no-nonsense approach to picking his first XI last term and he will not be shirking any similar decisions during the new campaign, explaining: "Competition is healthy and there are always places up for stake.

"Since coming in, John McCombe has been excellent but I made the decision to bring him off on Tuesday and that's part and parcel of football. It was tactical.

"I just felt we had to make a point. Their big lad (Tom Elliott) was causing problems. He was playing on Keith Lowe's side, so I could of brought either of them off really "I stuck Dave on to try to help deal with the situation and, to be fair to the group, the ball rarely came over the halfway line after that and, sometimes, you have to make decisions for the right reasons. The whole situation at the club has moved on over the last 12 months in terms of the endeavour needed to get in the team and stay in it.

"It's not a case of having 11 or 12 first-team players and, then, eight or nine sat on the bench or in the stands as back-up. We have 18 or 19 players who can step in and make the team just as strong, which is a healthy position to be in.

"Tom Platt had also done exceptionally well for us in those first two games but he was a bit low key last weekend, maybe because he's still a young player that had played three games in a week. We gave him a little breather and Luke did exceptionally well, so there's competition for places there as well."

Despite admitting he has several options, though, Worthington will not be agonising over the make-up of his side in Devon, revealing: "I haven't got a headache or any selection problems. I have the team in my head and it will be announced prior to the game."

Worthington is also expected to carry on selecting Michael Coulson in a centre-forward role rather than restoring him to a position on the flanks.

The former Barnsley attacker is yet to net this term but the City boss is backing him to put that right soon, saying: "It would be harsh on Couls to move him out of the middle.

"I'm not saying it won't or couldn't happen, but all he is missing up there at the moment is a goal or two. All the work he does for the team is phenomenal.

"I've just told him to relax and keep working the goal and something will go in for him."

Worthington reckons his team, who have scored five goals in four matches, will imminently begin to hit the net on a more frequent basis but must tighten up at the other end of the pitch.

Having finished last season with 14 clean sheets during their last 18 matches, City are still waiting for their first shut-out of 2014/15 with Worthington insisting: "We are creating lots of chances and we will score goals, but clean sheets are the foundation if you want to move forward."

The City manager went on to warn his side against complacency when they tackle an Exeter side with just one point from their opening three league fixtures, explaining: "There's nothing worse than a dangerous animal that's being cornered. We know what Exeter are about though and it will be down to how we perform."


Cash-strapped Grecians short on home comforts

EXETER City will be hoping to improve on a miserable record of just two wins from their last 20 home games tomorrow.

The Grecians host York City having only tasted victory twice at St James Park since last October.

Those triumphs, surprisingly, were racked up against Scunthorpe and Fleetwood, who both finished last season promoted. But, otherwise, the cash-strapped Devon club are considered to be better suited to playing away from home due to their ability to counter-attack quickly.

In 2014, though, Paul Tisdale’s men have not always compensated for their horrific home form with results on the road.

Since New Year’s Day, Exeter have only won five of their 27 fixtures and have lost their last three games of the new campaign without scoring a goal after kicking off the campaign with a 1-1 home draw with Portsmouth.

Back-to-back defeats at Burton (1-0) and Plymouth (3-0) followed a 2-0 Capital One Cup exit to Bournemouth (2-0), although Tisdale is hoping the addition of ex-Preston striker Graham Cummins can pep up his attack.

Cummins, who scored four goals in 33 loan outings for Rochdale last term, made his Exeter debut against Burton in midweek after a summer in which Tisdale was the only manager from the 92 Premier and Football League clubs unable to make a signing during the close season.

The Grecians were restricted by a transfer embargo, having taken out a PFA loan to pay players’ wages, but Cummins has been brought in after supporters agreed to foot half his salary following a £20,000 donation from the 1931 fund, into which a group of 60 fans pay £19 a month.

Cummins’ arrival represents the sixth season that the 1931 fund, named after the year in which Exeter embarked on a famous FA Cup run, have financed a player either in part or full.

With Jamie Reid ruled out long term and Tom Nicholls picking up an injury that sidelined him at Burton, Cummins could again be the only striker available to Tisdale.

Young defender Jordan Moore-Taylor will also play no part for the 20th-placed hosts due to a stress fracture.

Exeter (probable): Pym, Butterfield, Bennett, Baldwin, Tillson, Woodman, Sercombe, Oakley, Grimes, Keohane, Cummins.