New look Otters
Ottery St Mary FC started the new season with 10 players making their first team debut after a close-season exodus.
Ottery St Mary FC started the new season with 10 players making their first team debut.Starters were: Dan Short (on loan from Wellington), James Hudson, Nick Searle, Ryan Seleck, Chris Dinsdale, Andy Lowe, Andy Wharton and 16-year-old Dan Jewell, following a close season exodus of last year's squad. Only Phil Anning was present from last year's Otters. Alphington started brightly and looked like they had prepared well and had assembled an experienced squad. They were all over the Otters in the first 20 minutes hitting the bar twice. The Otters battled hard and it took something special to open the scoring, a great strike by the Alphas' player. Otters responded well and had the ball in the Alphas' box on many occasions but lacked a predatory instinct. Dan Jewell was giving the experienced Alpha's wing back a torrid time, his pace and technical ability was clear to see and was unfortunate not to get a couple of headers on target. Jewell, 16, was thrown into 1st team action after only half a season into the reserves and looks to blossom in a player who could handle himself in this league at such an early stage. At half time it was obvious the Otters had to trouble the Alphas' defence. Both teams came out to the still relentless rain, but the pitch held up beautifully. Ottery were pushing for an equaliser and were coming close after the Alphas' keeper dropped a couple of crosses and debutant Shorty poked an almost certain goal wide, only for his blushes to be spared by the linesman's flag. The only time the Otters tested the legs of Alphas' sweeper and former Otter Aaron Carpanini, Andy Wharton stripped him for pace and could have gone down from a last ditch tackle. He steadied himself but, with the Alpha keeper bearing down, he fired the ball wide. This was the turning point of the game, the Otters' heads went down and' despite the introduction of another two debutants, Munya Hoto and Steve Hunt, the Otters let in another two goals in the dying minutes of the game. On overall reflection that 3-0 flattered Alphington but they deserved a win and look a good outfit for the season. Tim Mills will have to work hard to recruit some new players to bolster his squad but they don't look a million miles away from a decent outfit and, after all of pre-season goings-on it's still looking promising. Man of the Match was Dan Jewell for his overall commitment to the cause, which couldn't be faulted.