Blackmore and Hembrow star as Ottery Under-14s exact sweet revenge on Exeter Panthers
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary Under-14s exacted sweet revenge on the team that had knocked them out of the cup just seven days before, beating Exeter Panthers 2-1 when the sides met in an Exeter & District Youth League encounter, writes Stephen Upsher.
Ottery coach Addy Carpenter made some changes to his team for the game at Washbrook Meadow, pushing Jake Blackmore and Freddie Clarke into a forward line-up to support leading scorer Finn Upsher.
The move paid instant returns as, just three minutes in, Upsher crossed for Blackmore to turn the ball home at the second attempt following good work from Jake Johnson and Will Reid.
Panthers hit straight back, but were denied by a wonderful double save from Ottery glovesman Jack Hembrow.
In the 10th minute Ottery doubled their lead when Johnson fired home following good work from Upsher on the right.
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Panthers looked to hit back, but they could little joy out of Ottery defensive duo Fin Lashbrook and Rowan Hewitt, who are developing one of the strongest central defensive partnerships in the league.
They were supported on the flanks by Sam Gleeson and Tom Bennett. Jack Carpenter was showing strength and determination in the centre of midfield alongside Reid and Johnson. Just before the interval Hembrow again denied the visitors and Ottery took their 2-0 advantage into the break.
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For the second half, coach Carpenter shuffled his pack, sending on Ollie Milton for Freddie Clarke and Seb Copp for Will Reid.
Panthers stepped up the pace, but again they found Hembrow in their way. The Ottery shot-stopper was having a fine game and saved with his feet five minutes later before Carpenter made his third change of the game, sending on Finn Giles in place of Gleeson at left-back.
In the final quarter of an hour boss Carpenter sent on speedy sub George Durham to run at the Panthers defence.
With 10 minutes remaining Panthers got a goal back when the player who had scored a hat-trick the week before, Harvey Maddocks, rifled the ball home from 25 yards.
Almost immediately Ottery went up the other end and Johnson was denied by a wonderful save from the Panthers keeper.
The last ten minutes were nervy stuff and Panthers were again denied by Hembrow as Ottery saw the game out to secure a richly deserved three points.
A jubilant Carpenter said at the whistle: "What a fantastic result - they came here last week and played us off the park. However, this time round, we showed great character to bounce back and every one of our boys was outstanding today - you have got to be to beat them."
Ottery move up to fourth in the league and have games in hand on the teams above them. They have another big league game this Saturday (December 14) when they travel to Exmouth to meet Brixington.