Jewell missing, but Heath and Court return for Otters' derby visit to Budleigh

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 March 2018

Ottery away at Otterton. Ref shsp 07-18TI 7579. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery away at Otterton. Ref shsp 07-18TI 7579. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Ottery St Mary were denied a game last Saturday, this for the umpteenth time in what has already been one of the soggiest football seasons in recent times.

However, the fact that the Otters had no game – on day when just 10 matches across the nine divisions of the Macron Devon and Exeter league took place - had nothing to do with a wet pitch. Washbrook Meadow had been readied for the Division Three clash and was certainly fit for action.

The problem was that schedule opposition Lympstone were unable to field a side for the match and so the Otters are waiting to see what action the league takes against the Lympets with the likelihood that Ottery will be awarded three points.

The Otters are in league action twice in the coming six days with Saturday’s (March 17) East Devon derby at Budleigh Salterton Reserves followed by a floodlit home game next Thursday (March 22) against University.

Otters’ boss Dave Fairweather says: “We have not played Budleigh yet and, as is so often the worry when you come up against a club’s second team, you are never quite sure, until you get there, how strong – or weak - they are going to be!

“I see Budleigh’s first team are at Bovey Tracey, but given the midweek rain, who’s to know which games will be played this weekend and which won’t. That said, it is what it is and, for our part, we need to be focussed and ensure that we do what we are good at in the game.

“Greenway Lane [the home of Budleigh Salterton] is a smashing surface to play on and I am confident that if we produce the sort of performance we have in our locker, then we will get the sort of result we are looking for.”

The trip to Budleigh sees the Otters travel without Dan Jewell (unavailable), Jordan Wilkinson (injury) and James Gosney (injury), but they do welcome back Tom Heath and goalkeeper Hugh Court, both of whom would not have played last weekend.

The Otters are also in action next Thursday with the home game against a University side that has often proved a problem – in midweek matches – when they can call upon players from the four teams senior to this particular student outfit in terms of the University football organisation.

Fairweather says: “After such a stop-start time since early December – and we are of course not alone in that respect – we are so keen not to just to be playing again, but playing on a regular basis.

“Once the dry weather does kick-in we will be find the games coming thick and fast, but this is the best time of a season, the business end, when the big games come one after the other.

“We remain targeting as high a finish as possible in the hope that, with any reshuffling of divisions, we can continue our upward progress in the Macron Devon and Exeter League.”

●The Otterettes are in action on Sunday (March 18) when they play a Westward developments Devon Women’s League match against table-topping Halwill ladies. Kick-off is at 2pm and, as ever, supprters will be made very welcome at Washbrook Meadow.

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