Gleeson and Upsher at the double as Ottery U13s book semi-final berth
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary Under-13s booked their place in the semi-finals of the Exeter Youth League Cup with a 5-2 win home win against South Molton.
Addy Carpenter’s side are now just one match away from a potential final at Exeter City’s St James Park and have now gone seven matches without defeat.
The visitors began the game brightly, playing some good football and taking the game to Ottery. However, after 10, a lively George Durham weaved his way into the opposition penalty box where he was pushed in the back and, when the referee awarded a spot kick, Sam Gleeson made no mistake, firing the Otters into the lead.
Seven minutes later, leading scorer Finn Upsher slipped his marker on the left flank and fed Ollie Milton, who made it 2-0 with a dipping curling shot from 20-yards - the goal of the game
At the other end of the pitch, skipper Fin Lashbrook was marshalling the Ottery defence alongside Gleeson and the ever-improving Rowan Hewitt, as South Molton went in search of a goal.
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When the visitors did get through, they came up against an in-form Jack Hembrow, who made a fine save after 25 minutes.
Man of the Match Upsher was giving South Molton a torrid time and after 28 minutes beat three defenders, running half the pitch before being denied by a fine save from the opposition keeper. Jake Blackmore and Jack Carpenter have been instrumental in Ottery’s success this season and were starting to make things happen as the Otters went in search of more goals.
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After half an hour, Ottery made it three, Upsher pouncing on a loose ball and beating the keeper from 15 yards.
At the other end, defender Tom Bennett kept South Molton out with a spectacular clearance over Ottery’s crossbar to send the home team in at the break leading 3-0.
South Molton started the second half well and were rewarded with a penalty after an Ottery defender handled on the edge of the box.
Home glovesman Hembrow guessed the right way, but was beaten by the sheer pace of the spot kick.
The Ottery response was both immediate and clinical with Upsher bursting into the South Molton penalty area where he was felled by the goalkeeper and, for the second time in the game, Gleeson stepped up and slammed home the spot kick.
Ottery put the game beyond doubt in the 50th minute, with a fine solo effort from Upsher. Then young hit-man ran some 40 yards with the ball before rifling it past an advancing keeper for his 15th goal of the season.
South Molton, to their credit, had the final word, netting from close range following a corner.
Otters boss Carpenter said after the match: “South Molton are a good side, but we worked hard and kept our discipline across the back.