Jewell and Harris missing as Otters chase semi-final berth
Ottery St Mary are in Bill Slee Cup action tomorrow (Saturday) with a home game against Winchester with a place in the semi-finals at stake.
The game, at Washbrook Meadow, kicks off at 2pm to allow for extra-time and penalties, should they be required.
Winchester are currently top of the Macron League Division Four table with 10 wins, two draws and just a single defeat – that in their very first league game of the season!
They are unbeaten in 13 league and cup ties since a 6-1 Devon Senior Cup defeat at home to Lapford in mid September.
In terms of their Bill Slee Cup progress to the quarter-finals, Winchester have played two rounds; a 5-2 win at Axmouth United and a 2-1 win over Dawlish, the latter to set up their visit to Washbrook Meadow on Saturday.
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Winchester gained promotion to Division Four at the end of last season when they ended the 2016/17 Division Five campaign in fourth spot.
One thing that may go against the Exeter-based side is the fact that they will come to Ottery somewhat ‘under-cooked’ for they have been idle for seven weeks with their last outing being a December 9, 5-3 win at Alphington.
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For the Otters, they have, unlike many Macron League clubs, had two games since the turn of the year, winning a Bill Slee Cup quarter-final tie 6-0 on January 6, and then winning a Division Three game at Clyst Valley the week after, 4-3.
Ottery boss Dave Fairweather says: “It’s going to be a tough game, there’s no doubting that. They [Winchester] are a team we have not played before, but a look at the current Division Four table says it all about the threat they will pose to us.
“They score plenty of goals – as we do – but, also like us, they have only kept two clean sheets in 15 games so far this season and all that suggests that we should see a great cup tie.”
Fairweather continued: “We are without the injured James Gosney, while both Dan Jewell and Adam Harris are unavailable, but otherwise we are at full strength and the lads shouldn’t need much motivating for this game as the prize says it all – a place in a cup semi-final.
“The ground is sure to be heavy going, so it may be the sort of game in which we have to dig deep to make sure we get the result we want.”
The Otterettes are also in action this weekend when they entertain Keyham Kolts in a Devon Women’s League game on Sunday (2pm).