Otters ready for brace of local derbies

Ottery 1st team at home to Crediton Utd 2nds. Ref shsp 15 18TI 1054. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery 1st team at home to Crediton Utd 2nds. Ref shsp 15 18TI 1054. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary host a brace of Macron League Division Three East Devon derbies in the coming days as they entertain Budleigh tomorrow (Saturday) before hosting Lympstone on Wednesday evening (April 18).

The Otters go into the Budleigh game still smarting from back-to-back defeats at the hands of University and Crediton United, the latter named winning the game at Ottery last Saturday 3-0.

It proved to be another frustrating afternoon for the Otters faithful and team boss Dave Fairweather said: “We were not helped when the Crediton United first team game was called off, in terms of the sort of eleven they could field. However, we need to be bigger than falling back onto excuses about strength of opposition. The bottom line is that our first 45 minutes was simply not good enough and, in terms of both the bigger picture and our long-term aims, we need to break out of this ‘poor-start’ mode we find ourselves in.”

He continued: “For me, what is most frustrating is that we are a very capable side ourselves, but what we currently fail to produce is the level of consistency that is required not just to compete with the better teams at our level, but to beat them!”

Crediton scored twice in the first half, but were then forced to defend in numbers as the Otters served up a much-improved second-half show and it was only in the dying embers of the game that the third and final goal was scored.

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So, the question for the Ottery boss after the two defeats was quite simple: “Has this put an end to your hopes of a high enough finish and with it possible promotion?”

His reply was emphatic! He said: “Absolutely not! We have plenty of games left and with all the teams having a congested end-of-season schedule there will be points dropped and what we must do is make sure that when we are on top in games we take our chances and close games out.”

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He continued: “We still have two meetings with both Tedburn St Mary and Lympstone and I am very keen that we start the ball rolling by winning these next two home games.

“Budleigh will be a tough game, if only because of the ‘local derby’ element of the contest. We won there last month with a 3-2 success, but had to come back from two goals down, so I shall be impressing upon the lads the need for us to make a strong start and stamp our authority in the early stages.”

Ottery did have some ‘success’ in the past week and that was to book a semi-final berth in the Grandisson Cup.

Their quarter-final opponents, Axmouth United, could not raise a team for the midweek encounter and so the Otters march into the last four.

There was also a stunning win for the Ottery ladies, who, despite having only nine players, won 5-0 at Axminster Town in their latest Devon Women’s League match.

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