Otters power into U14 Devon Cup last eight after impressive win in Plymouth
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary Under-14s booked a quarter-final berth in this season’s Devon County Cup with a 3-1 win over Marine Academy Plymouth Kings.
Goals from Finn Upsher, Tom Bennett and a Sam Gleeson penalty saw the Otters into the last eight.
Ottery started strongly on a sticky Plymouth pitch and just six minutes in Jake Blackmore tested the keeper with a 30-yard pile-driver that flew narrowly over the crossbar.
A minute later the Otters took the lead after striker Finn Upsher pounced on a poorly taken goal kick to round the keeper and stroke home his eighth goal of the season.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled! Upsher was fouled a good 30 yards out from goal but full-back Tom Bennett stepped up to send a beautifully judged long-range free kick over the head of the Marine Academy keeper.
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The game saw a third goal inside the opening 15 minutes with the home team netting and, just before half-time, Ottery keeper Jack Hembrow made a fine save with his legs to send his side in 2-1 up at the break.
In the second half it was Hembrow again who kept his side in the game, coming off his line sharply and saving on the edge of his box. The ball then fell rather fortuitously into the path of a Marine player whose goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by Tom Bennett.
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There were precious few other scares in the Ottery defence in which Rowan Hewitt impressed, winning countess aerial duels and forming a solid partnership skipper Fin Lashbrook.
Ottery's midfielders Jack Carpenter and Jake Johnson were strong in the tackle and making some great runs into the opposition half.
Upsher headed just wide after good work from Seb Copp before, with 15 minutes remaining, Ottery put the game beyond doubt when Upsher was brought down in the box and Sam Gleeson stepped up to score from the spot.
Three minutes from the end Blackmore was a whisker away from scoring the goal of the game when his long range volley sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
Post match, Ottery manager, Addy Carpenter paid tribute to his youngsters, singling out Hewitt and Upsher for the joint Man of the Match.
He said: "We knew we were in for a hard game, as Marine are one of the strongest sides in Plymouth. However, I couldn't fault the commitment and fighting spirit of our boys, they were first class and fully deserved the victory."
Ottery entertain Exeter Panthers this Saturday (November 30) in the quarter-finals of the Exeter & District Youth League KO Cup.