Gleeson and Carpenter net as Ottery U13s stage remarkable comeback

PUBLISHED: 15:01 05 March 2019

Sam Gleeson of Ottery St Mary U13s presses an Alphington opponent during the 2-2 draw between the teams. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER

Sam Gleeson of Ottery St Mary U13s presses an Alphington opponent during the 2-2 draw between the teams. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER

Archant

Ottery St Mary Under-13s completed a remarkable comeback to share the spoils with an Alphington side that sit second in the Exeter and District League.

George Durham in action for Otetry St Mary U13 during the 2-2 draw with Alphington. Picture STEPHEN UPSHERGeorge Durham in action for Otetry St Mary U13 during the 2-2 draw with Alphington. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER

At the final whistle, what was so apparent, was just how much character this Ottery side, coached by Addy Carpenter, has in their ranks and the point leaves them sitting fourth in the table.

The two sides had met earlier in the year and, on that occasion, a keenly contested encounter saw both sides deservedly take something for their efforts, and this meeting proved to be a similar close affair between two well-matched outfits.

Ottery gave a debut to Will Reid in the centre of midfield and started with Seb Copp partnering Finn Upsher in attack.

The Otters had the first opportunity with Ollie Milton testing the Alphington glovesman after good work from Jack Carpenter. From the resultant corner, Sam Gleeson fired just over the bar.

Jake Blackmore in action for Otetry St Mary U13 during the 2-2 draw with Alphington. Picture STEPHEN UPSHERJake Blackmore in action for Otetry St Mary U13 during the 2-2 draw with Alphington. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER

Alphington, who are more used to playing on an artificial surface, settled well but couldn’t get the better of Ottery glovesman Jack Hembrow, who has been ever-present, and in fine form, all season.

Jake Blackmore has been showing some consistently good form as of late and, after eight minutes, tried his luck down the right, beating two opponents and sending in a cross that narrowly eluded Upsher.

After 16 minutes Ottery put together one of their best passages of play as Seb Copp, running down the right, found Upsher in the box. He then passed to Jack Carpenter, who deftly chipped the ball over the advancing keeper and narrowly over the crossbar.

Ottery were starting to dominate and Man of the Match Will Reid was putting in some strong tackles in the centre of the park.

Skipper Finn Lashbrook was quick to snuff out an Alphington break, reacting with great pace to smother the move. However, on the half hour Alphington took the lead from the penalty spot after a handball.

Coach Carpenter rallied his troops during the break and they responded to his promptings by starting the second period with a good tempo to their game.

However, it was the visitors who doubled their lead 12 minutes in, capitalising on a mix-up in the Ottery defence.

Ottery refused to lie down and, with 17 minutes, got back in the game when Sam Gleeson tucked away a penalty.

With the bit between their teeth, Ottery powered forward and, with eight minutes remaining, Carpenter picked up a loose ball on the left side of the penalty area and sent a curling left foot shot over the keeper and into the net. There were celebrations on and off the pitch as Ottery levelled the scores at 2-2 to ensure honours ended even.

A delighted Ottery boss said: “It was an excellent performance. To find ourselves two goals down and still have the wherewithal to bounce back and take a point speaks volumes for the character we have in the squad. I think today we showed that we are as good as any team when we play well.”

On Saturday (March 9), Ottery travel to Tiverton to meet sixth in the tale Moors Youth.

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