Gutsy Otters try hard

Newton Abbot Spurs 1, Ottery St Mary 0

This was a real gutsy performance from Ottery and, despite the disappointing result, there were lots of encouraging signs from the team.

The defence looked more solid than it has all season and the midfield has a much better shape about it. The only thing lacking now is more potency in front of goal, which turned out to be a major problem for the Otters.

The game itself was not much of a spectacle but Ottery had by far the better of the chances. As early as the fifth minute Jake Allen was put through but his resulting chip ended up in the arms of the grateful Spurs’ keeper when he would have normally rifled the ball towards goal, and that was how the game went for the Otters, with too many wrong decisions at crucial times of their play.

Manager Mel Coombs said: “After the win on Boxing Day, spirit has been superb, even though we were disappointed not to get anything at home to Civil Service last Saturday. Today has been one of our best displays so far against decent opposition but we really should have won.

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“Even the home side thought we had been mugged and that was nice to hear as you don’t want to be looking for excuses. We only have ourselves to blame for not crossing the ball when we should have, shooting and passing at the wrong times in and around their penalty area but generally, whilst not being happy with the result, I was very pleased with the look of the side.

“We will keep working hard to punish teams when we should and give ourselves a bit of breathing space in games to try to get some consistency going”.

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The winning goal came 10 minutes from time when the home side struck from 18 yards and, although Matty Slark got a touch on it, he couldn’t prevent the ball from going in.

It was a massive blow for Ottery but, to their credit, they kept going and created another chance with minutes remaining, when Jake Allen fired against the cross-bar and it was then the Otters began to realise it wasn’t going to be their day.

This was a tremendous team effort but Ben Clay and Ben Woolley at the heart of the Ottery defence were outstanding, not only with their defending but with their ability to turn a defensive situation into good attacking play.

?This Saturday The Otters travel to Teignmouth kick off 2.15pm

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