Otters celebrate first clean sheet of the league term


Goal! - Credit: Archant

Thirteen was most certainly not unlucky for Ottery St Mary boss Dave Fairweather and his team for, at the 13th time of asking this season, the Otters finally chalked up a much-coveted clean-sheet success, beating Countess Wear 1-0 at Washbrook Meadow in their last outing before the festive break.

It’s been a tough season so far for the Otters with Saturday’s win just a fourth in 10 Macron League Division Three outings, but they were good value for this three points, earned thanks to a first-half goal from skipper Kurtis Winchcombe.

Hugh Court, who spent much of the early part of 2017 on the injury list, was good value for the clean sheet.

Otters boss Dave Fairweather said: “It was a similar tale to the games with Otterton and Royal Oak at home when we bossed the first half of both matches but were not able to press home our clear dominance and paid for it later on. This time, though, we got a first half lead, though we ought to have been out of sight by the break, and did enough throughout the second half to keep the door firmly closed.”

He continued: “The pitch played remarkably well given the rain we had and the fact that a pitch inspection was required before it could get the go-ahead. It was not surprising to see some tired legs on both sides the longer the game went on as conditions did become heavy underfoot, but what I liked most about our general play was a clear desire from all involved to ‘get the job done’, something they all contributed to.”

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The Otters return to action on Saturday, January 6, with a Bill Slee Cup second round tie at home to North Tawton.

As a general overview on the season so far, Fairweather says: “It’s been tougher than we’d have liked. Consistency in availability is the key for the second half of the season. We still have enough games left in the campaign to mount the promotion challenge I feel is there for us.”

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He continued: “As I have said all too often in 2017, and I know I’m am not alone in this view along with other managers, consistency is the key to this, first in terms of availability and then in performance both individually and collectively.

“We continue to be an ambitious club with a chairman who knows what he wants and has a real passion and desire to get what he wants. I share his view and know we have sufficient quality in the current squad to get the job done this season. Of course, we would like to strengthen the squad, what manager would not, but I firmly believe that we need to be bringing the ‘right sort of player’ in to share our bigger picture view of the way we take this team forward – on and off the pitch.”

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