Carey back as Otters head for Roselands

Action from the Ottery St Mary pre-season meeting with Axminster Town. Picture: SARAH MCCABE

Action from the Ottery St Mary pre-season meeting with Axminster Town. Picture: SARAH MCCABE - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary are back in league action tomorrow (Saturday) having missed out last week owing to the opposition crying off with a Covid-19 issue, writes Steve Birley.

Next up for the Otters is a visit to Roselands where Billy Rouse and his merry men will be looking to continue their unbeaten season to date in their Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League South & West Division campaign.

With no game for the first team last weekend the spotlight fell on the second team and Rouse was amongst the substitutes for the Friday night Joma League Division One East meeting with Colyton Reserves, and he joined the action to score a hat-trick! Speaking of the Friday night game, the Ottery boss said: “It was great to get involved with the second team.

“Purely from a playing point of view, it was good to get some minutes in my legs after suffering a knock against Kingsteignton which I hadn’t been able to shift properly. The goals were an added bonus!

“From a managerial point of view, it was great for some fringe first team players to get some nice minutes while also giving me a chance to cast an eye on the reserve players in a ‘live game’ situation.”

Looking ahead to the Roselands match, the Ottery chief said: “It will be a tough game this one, not least as they are another of those teams that play on artificial turf and so will be used to it.

“What’s more I note that they [Roselands] and have picked up some positive results in the last four games.

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“That said, we are in a good form and if we keep shutting teams out we’ll give ourselves a great chance of winning the match as we’ll always create chances.”

With regard to his playing options, the Ottery boss says: “Ash Small is stepping up his recovery from injury, but tomorrow, I’d imagine, is still, sadly, ‘too soon’ for him to return.

“However, Liam Carey will be back in the squad alongside Connor Swingler who has stepped up his fitness with the reserves.

“Yeah, we have some tough away games coming up now and we’ll really see where we stand at the end of those.

“I’ve always backed my lads to step up to the challenge of playing stronger opposition and I believe we will so that.”

The Otters head into the game sporting this magnificent on-going shut-out of 437 minutes!

Indeed, it is over seven hours now since the Otters last conceded a goal of any sort.

The Otters have scored 40 goals in 10 games this season and, in away matches, they have not shipped a goal since the opening day, September 5, Washbrook Meadow 5-1 win over Kingsteignton Athletic.

Roselands sit ninth in the table having won three, drawn one and lost five in their nine games so far this season.

They were beaten 2-1 at home last Saturday by Lakeside Athletic and that’s three defeats in four home games to date.

Their one success at home was a 5-1 victory over Walden Athletic while they have also lost 1-0 to Paignton Villa and 2-0 to Buckland Athletic.

The Ottery boss says: “We take no one for granted and there is a real hunger to succeed here at Ottery which will only help make us harder to beat.”

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