Otters all set for tough game at Newton St Cyres
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary travel to Mid Devon tomorrow (Saturday) to face Newton St Cyres Reserves in a Macron League Division Three game.
It’s another ‘tough’ game for the Otters, who bowed out of the Devon Senior Cup last Saturday, beaten 2-1 by Division One table-topping Kentisbeare, who scored their winner in the fifth minute of added time!
Speaking in midweek having reflected on his side’s cup exit five days before, Ottery boss Dave Fairweather said: “It was a seriously bitter sweet afternoon for me as, although the defeat was disappointing, if not very hard to take, the overriding emotion I had was one of great pride in my players who, quite literally, gave everything for the cause and could have done no more.”
The Otters had gone into the game down to the bare bones with availability issues and injuries. Those team selection woes were compounded on the morning of the cup tie when Dave Weeks was taken ill. It all meant assistant boss Matt Priest having to be named as the third sub and, when the experienced Mat Dally was injured early in the second half, with both other subs already in play, Priest was called into action. To compound things further, one of the 11 then picked up a knock to leave the Otters battling late in the game with 10 men.
Fairweather said: “It’s not often that I say my team were ‘running on empty’ as our all-round fitness levels are good, but on this occasion the lads had given so much that they genuinely were ‘out on their legs’.
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There was one aspect that the Otters boss particularly enjoyed about the team performance, something he explained saying: “For once it was so good to see the team go into the game against a quality outfit without any sign of feeling overawed by the opposition – and that is something we have been guilty of previously and especially against Kentisbeare!
“This time round it was so very different and I am hoping that the lads will have considered that at the end and realised that, as a team, we can hold our own with the best at this level. So now we have seen both a standard set and pre-match expectation raised and so if we can now bottle the two then I am very confident about us going forward as a team.”
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As for the game at Newton St Cyres, the Otters are boosted by the return of Dan Jewell and Ben Rushton, both of whom missed the cup defeat to Kentisbeare.
Fairweather says: “I must say I am looking forward to this game at Newton St Cyres. They have made a decent start to the season and have been beaten just the once, which suggests they will be a tidy side. However, for our part we are looking for more of the same from last Saturday in terms of general performance and if we deliver that then you’ll not hear any complaints from me.”
There’s also Sunday action for the Ottery ladies with a Devon Women’s League fixture at University of Plymouth ladies (2pm).