Otters end league campaign on a high
The Otters finished their Peninsula League campaign with a win away to bottom of the league Buckfastleigh.
The Otters finished their Peninsula League campaign with a win away to bottom of the league Buckfastleigh. Unlike the previous visit to neighbours Liverton, where the pitch was immaculate, Buckfastleigh's pitch was bumpy and resembled a flower meadow covered in buttercups and daisies.The Otters were without captain Adie Pullen in goal and drafted Matt Slarke in between the sticks, Jac Civill and Dave O'Connor returned after missing the last two games, into midfield and as sub respectively. Against weak opposition, and playing down the slope, the Otters were expected to start strongly but failed to stamp their authority on the game. As early as the seventh minute Wood was put though and, with only the keeper to beat, managed to loft the ball over the bar.It took the Otters 21 minutes to break down the Buckfastleigh defence when good work on the left flank resulted in a corner. The set piece brought the Otters' opener with a trade mark Stephen Hitchcock goal, a pin point corner from Oli Burns being met by Hitchcock who gave the keeper no chance.It took the Otters until the 40th minute to increase their lead, when good work down the right resulted in the ball being parried by the Buck's keeper. Civill's resulting shot rebounded to Harry Taylor who made no mistake to put the Otters two up.Taylor put them further ahead a minute before half time when, put though one-on-one for a 50/50 ball with the Bucks' keeper , he slid the ball into the net. The second half saw Buckfastleigh pull a goal back when the Otters defence was caught flat footed. It took the Otters 10 minutes to restore their authority when Harry Taylor thought he should have been awarded a penalty. The ref waved play on and, fortunately, the ball fell to Barry Woods who duly obliged and scored from close range.Dave O'Connor was brought on to try and bring some stability to midfield. After good approach work by O'Connor, Harry Taylor finished well to score his third of the afternoon.With five minutes to go, the Otters allowed Buckfastleigh to pull back another goal but at the death Potter completed his brace and the Otters' sixth for them to finish the league campaign on a high note.