Crickets share honours with Ashmoor

Ottery Crickets 1 (1), (0) 1 Ashmoor

Having beaten third-placed Ashmoor 2-1 back in October, the Men’s 1st XI were looking to pull off a repeat at home in the league game at Colin Tooze Sports Centre, Ottery. A very even contest unfolded that ended with a single goal for each team, writes Steve Ellison.

It was an even affair for the first 20 minutes, with the visitors threatening from several short corners which required Frood to make a couple of quality saves, including a high goal-bound drag flick which he managed to tip over. When Windy pulled up with an injury, Crickets were forced to reorganise and Jim Harris was introduced after an enforced layoff. The home team continued link well, exploiting space down the left with Brooker and Ogborne releasing forwards Bell and Fraser.

The game-changing moment came when Tom Down ghosted past the static left back, crossing perfectly for Mikey Bell to show his coolness when he paused and calmly slipped the ball past the static keeper, 1-0. Crickets shaded the game at the interval.

The second half was a competitive affair as the game tightened up – with midfielders Gracie and King battling well. However, Crickets struggled for ideas going forward and defence-men Pursell, Brooker, Dockley and Harris had to work extra hard to keep Ashmoor out. The visitors’ breakthrough came from one of their several penalty corners and it was Green who drove home from a well-worked routine, 1-1. The teams’ numerical advantage swung backwards and forwards on three occasions when first, Ashmoor lost two players to ill-discipline, followed by Crickets’ Fraser, but neither team were unable to capitalise. Despite several more forays into the Ashmoor D, and with a couple of close shaves at their own end, the game ended with honours shared.

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With Sidmouth losing 3-4 at home to Crickets’ next opponents, Bridgwater, the season is becoming more and more intriguing.

Team: Frood, King, Brooker, Pursell, Miller (Harris), Ogborne, Gracie, Dockley, Down, Bell, Fraser.

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Crickets’ next game is away to Bridgwater on Saturday at 2.30pm. They return to Colin Tooze on Feb 18 v Exeter University 2pm.

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