Ottery St Mary drew 1-1 with Exmouth Town at Washbrook Meadow in the last match of the year, but must be ruing a host of missed chances against their local rivals.
Ottery St Mary drew 1-1 with Exmouth Town at Washbrook Meadow in the last match of the year, but must be ruing a host of missed chances against their local rivals. Town, playing down the slope, had the best of the opening exchanges but Ottery gradually gained control of midfield and Jack Civill and Dave O'Connor started to cause problems. After 20 minutes Ottery took the lead when a queue of attackers were waiting at the far post for the ball to be delivered from the right wing. The ball fell to O'Connor who clinically beat Tony Ali in the Town goal. Despite dominating possession for the remainder of the first half, Ottery failed to create any more clear-cut chances and Town were grateful to be behind by only a goal at the interval. The start to the second half mirrored the end of the previous 45 minutes with Ottery camped in the Town half and Adrian Pullen a virtual spectator in the home goal. However, a fierce battle in midfield was being played out that led to some heavy tackles and resulted in a number of bookings. Ottery still dominated the possession and two clearances off the line by McManus and Rollason kept Town in the match. Midway through the second half another heavy tackle saw a number of players get far too over excited as the festive spirit came to a premature end.The referee rightly booked a number of players with two lucky not to have been red carded. With 20 minutes left, the flu-stricken Tom Lowe was replaced by Adam Rowden, who made an immediate impact on the left side for Town.Up to this point you were more likely to see Elvis or Lord Lucan in the Ottery half than a Town player. Suddenly, Kerry Butler and Andy Rollason started to assert their authority in midfield and Shepherd, who worked tirelessly, started winning balls in the air. With 10 minutes left, Town began to look like getting a goal. With five minutes left, a fine ball from Rollason over the defence gave Turner a great chance, which he took by coolly lobbing the advancing keeper.The final few minutes could have seen Town score again. But this would not have been a fair reflection of the game and Ottery must be disappointed they were unable to convert so much possession into goals.