Otters all set for another big East Devon derby

Ottery away at East Budleigh. Ref shsp 02 19TI 7882. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery away at East Budleigh. Ref shsp 02 19TI 7882. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary duly chalked up a 12th straight Macron league Division Three success as they won 2-1 at Clyst Valley.

Despite the close nature of the score, in reality the game was no close encounter! Otters boss Dave Fairweather says: “We controlled long periods of the game and were comfortable winners. Their goal was something of a bizarre one in as much as the goalkeeper lumped a long free-kick forward that we did not head clear and then a wicked bounce did for our glovesman and the ball nestled in the back of the net!”

He continued: “In truth, though, they only had one other serious effort and for me, the most pleasing thing about the 90 minutes from us was the way we were able to dictate the flow of the game on a pitch which was very difficult to play football on!”

It was the two Ottery leading scorers, Corey Ringer and Jordan Wilkinson, who netted the goals at Clyst Valley.

This Saturday (February 2) the Otters are in home action with a Washbrook Meadow game against a Lympstone side that are certainly one of their rivals for a top three finish to the campaign.

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The Lympets currently sit eighth in the table, some 17 points behind the Otters, but the table-toppers have played six more games. In the ten Lympstone outings so far in their league campaign, they have won seven, drawn one and lost just two – those defeats both coming away from home – a 3-2 loss at University in November and, most recently, a surprise 1-0 defeat on their visit to Budleigh Salterton Reserves on January 12.

In other news, the Otters have been listed amongst those clubs interested in stepping up a level to be part of the new Peninsula League set-up that will be in place at the start of next season (2019-20). However, as Otters boss Dave Fairweather says, the club are not ‘expecting’ to be selected for the step up – at this stage.

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He explained, saying: “Look, the football authorities asked for indications of interest in stepping up and, of course, playing at that level is most certainly part of the bigger picture and long-term planning at Washbrook Meadow.

“There are a number of criteria that need to be satisfied with regard to any stepping up the football pyramid, and, as I understand it, there’s a couple of hoops to jump through in as much as facilities need to be of the required standard and then current ranking will be taken into consideration and, as the lowest ranked club to be listed, it would seem unlikely that we would make the cut. That said, we’d be daft not to express an interest in such a move.”

The Ottery Under-18s will be representing the club in this season’s Golesworthy Cup and a date has now been set for their first round tie at home to Awliscombe.

The game will take place under the Washbrook Meadow floodlights on Wednesday, February 13, with a 7.30pm kick-off.

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