Otters must improve away form to net another promotion

Otterton at home to Kentisbeare. Ref shsp 40-16TI 9027. Picture: Terry Ife

Otterton at home to Kentisbeare. Ref shsp 40-16TI 9027. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary’s current away record is on course to be their poorest in recent seasons.

The Otters have, to date, won just two of their nine Macron league Division Four away matches and have three left to play.

Last season, one that saw them finish fifth in Division Five, they won seven, drew two and lost just three of their 12 away matches.

The season before, their Division Six title winning season, the Otters won nine of their 13 away games, drawing two and losing two.

The poorest away season record in recent campaigns was the 2013/14 season when, in Division Six, they won two, drew two and lost 10 as they finished the campaign in 12th position.

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Last season on their travels the Otters recorded wins at Halwill (3-2), Beer Albion (4-1), Feniton (3-1), Hatherleigh (6-1), Priory (3-2), Otterton (3-1) and Awliscombe (3-1). They also picked up draws at Sandford and Alphington.

So far this season the only away success’s have been a 5-2 win at Priory in their second away league outing and a 5-4 victory at Morchard Bishop – that was the last time the Otters won away this term, back on November 19.

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On a more positive note, the Otters have only lost two of their six away games since that win at Morchard Bishop – but they have drawn the other four games!

They have three successive away games before they end the current season with a home game against Otterton on March 11.

After this Saturday’s visit to St Martins they go to Countess Wear on February 25 and then visit Kentisbeare on March 4.

In order to bag a third successive promotion the Otters are likely going to have to finish in the top five – as they did last season and, even though it is officially the top three that are promoted, fifth was good enough then.

With the league suggesting that they want to make sure that next season some teams’ season’s don’t end too soon – East Budleigh ended their Macron League Division Three campaign last Saturday – there may well be a change in the way the division’s are made up.

With Kentisbeare, Thorverton and Uplowman looking odds on to take the top three spots it leaves the Otters battling it out with University, Sandford, Countess Wear Dynamoes, Otterton and Priory for places four and five.

Of the five, Countess Wear and Priory have nine games left, Otterton and University have eight and Sanford have six to play. One thing is clear – if the Otters are to be playing Division Three football at Washbrook Meadow next season then they will probably need to win three of their last four games – and that will mean doubling their current winning return away from home this season!

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