Court out for Otters and Rushton back between the posts

Ottery away at Otterton. Ref shsp 07-18TI 7620. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery away at Otterton. Ref shsp 07-18TI 7620. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary have an enforced change in the goalkeeping department for Saturday’s home game against Lympstone (3pm).

The game was set to be played at the Endurance Park pitch opposite the Royal Marine Camp, Lympstone, but a midweek cancellation left the clubs arranging a switch to Washbrook Meadow.

With this season’s regular glovesman Hugh Court’s absence it means a recall for Ben Rushton.

Ottery boss Dave Fairweather says: “Ben [Rushton] was ever present last season and I have absolute faith in his ability. He’d play a lot more, but for the on-going form of Hugh. We are very fortunate to have two quality glovesman to call upon.”

The Otters continue to be without injured duo Jordan Wilkinson and James Gosney, but are otherwise at full strength for what will be a first meeting with Lympstone for many years.

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Fairweather says: “To be honest, I know precious little about them [Lympstone]. I have not seen them play this season, but the fact this is something of another East Devon derby adds a little spice.

“For our part, as long as we show the levels of intensity and aggression that I know we can produce, then I will have no complaints.

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“There’s lots to play for this season with almost half our Macron League Division Three campaign still to negotiate and we are still in two cup competitions, and so I am looking for us to hopefully get a run of games now with some improving weather and look to power our way through the remaining eight weeks of the campaign.”

Despite the threat of a wet forecast prior to the game, the Ottery boss is confident the match will go ahead.

He says: “On Tuesday the pitch was looking, arguably, as good as it has all season and I am confident it can take whatever is thrown at it this Friday night for us to be able to play – I certainly hope so, anyway!”

?Ottery St Mary Football Club, in conjunction with the Ottery Youth Club, has been successful in obtaining the right to purchase a defibrillator through a scheme run by the Football Association (FA) and the British Heart Foundation.

The scheme means that the club will able to purchase a defibrillator at a third of the normal price, though they do also need to fund the purchase of a secure cabinet to protect the device. A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and to their brain. It causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing, or stop breathing normally. Research shows that over 90 per cent of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise and those with an inherited heart condition can be up to three times as likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest if they participate in intensive or strenuous exercise.

At least three fatalities occurred during football matches or training this year in England due to cardiac arrest, including former England international Ugo Ehiogu, who tragically died whilst working as coach at Tottenham Hotspur FC.

For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent.

A defibrillator is an automatic device that can be used by the public to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest. By performing CPR and using a defibrillator until an ambulance arrives, you can help double the victim’s chance of survival.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “When someone collapses on the football pitch and their heart stops, the next few seconds are absolutely critical. Every minute without CPR and defibrillation can reduce their chance of survival by ten per cent.

Craig Allen, a youth team coach at the football club and also chairman of Ottery Youth Club, is running the Plymouth Half-Marathon in May raising funds for the defibrillator appeal.

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