Daly and Jewell back for Ottery trip to Pinhoe

Ottery away at Otterton. Ref shsp 07-18TI 7604. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery away at Otterton. Ref shsp 07-18TI 7604. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary welcomed back both Matt Daly and Dan Jewell for their Macron League Division Three visit to Pinhoe on Saturday (3pm).

The pair missed last Saturday’s 2-2 Washbrook Meadow draw with Sandford.

Also available for Ottery boss Dave Fairweather is Connor Swingler, who is on the books at Sidmouth Town, but the South West Peninsula League, Eastern Division side have no game on three of the next four Saturdays and so Swingler’s presence significantly strengthens the Ottery options, as Fairweather alluded to, saying: “Clearly with Connor in our side we are a better team so I am delighted that we will have his services in the coming weeks.”

It’s not all good news though for the Ottery boss on the playing front, for they are going to go to Pinhoe without the services of the unavailable Aiden Davey and Ben Rushden while Jordan Wilkinson misses out again through injury.

It is perhaps a good measure of the year-on-year success at Ottery that just three seasons ago this Saturday’s opponents were a Division Two side whilst the Otters were plying their trade in Division Six.

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The pair met in Division Four games last season with Ottery winning the home game 2-1, but Pinhoe comfortably won the meeting in Exeter, beating the Otters 4-0 in late September 2016.

The pair met at Washbrook Meadow earlier this season and Ottery won 3-2.

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Fairweather says: “That was a strange game, for we were two up and seemingly in control before they hit back, drew level and we needed a very late winner to take all three points.”

He continued: “However, we got well beaten on our last visit to Pinhoe and so need to be on our guard.

“That said, we are in a very different place in terms of our overall play this time round and we can go there [to Pinhoe] with some degree of confidence.

“After all, we are now on a run of six without defeat - five wins prior to the 2-2 draw with Sandford.”

As for what remains of the season - the Otters have played 15 of what will be a 26- game Macron League Division Three season - Fairweather says: “All we can do is try to keep winning and hope that it’s good enough to get us into one of the promotion berths come early May.

“The thing that has changed, and quite dramatically at the club since just before Christmas, is the general attitude in the camp.

“There’s no doubt that the upturn in form is very much down to a raising of standards, both in training and in matches, and it is the players who deserve all the credit going for that.

“I think part of the problem we had early season was that not all the lads were buying into what we wanted them to do, but now, to a player, they are all doing what is asked of them both individually and collectively and long may that continue.”

? Read more Otters news now on page 46 and also at www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

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