Ottery end the Thorverton winning run
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary became the first team to stop the winning run of Macron League Four leaders Thorverton as they held the Thors to a 2-2 draw in Mid Devon.
Thorverton went into the match having won all 11 of their previous games this season, but the Otters were terrific value for their point, gained via goals from Tom Collins and James Gosney.
Otters boss Dave Fairweather said: “It was a performance of two halves from the lads.
“We changed our system to play with three at the back. Its something we have worked hard on in training, but this was the first time that we have used it in a competitive game and that might have been a factor in a first half in which I felt we gave them [Thorverton] too much respect and stood off them.
“That all changed after the break when we go tighter and, instead of playing the ball beyond our front two we began to play it into feet and from that we had so much more of the ball.”
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He continued: “I do believe that there is a reason behind what I see as a current pattern of us playing so much better in the second half of matches.
“We are fit – that showed against Thorverton who I felt were well short of us on the fitness front – and perhaps we use up much of our reserves in the first half to such a degree that, I the second half, the players are more inclined to reserve energy and therefore be much more considered about what they should do with the ball.
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“There’s no doubt in many games this season we have looked a better outfit in the second half and that was the case at Thorverton.”
Fairweather concluded: “It’s definitely a case of a point gained and strengthens my feeling that there is no one we need fear throughout our remaining eight games of the league season.”
Ottery might not have got anything from the game had 17-year-old Kyle Hartnol not made a superb goal-saving tackle late on, but had that incident led to a goal it would have been harsh on the Otters who were more than good value for a share of the spoils.
The Otters are at Sandford on Saturday and Fairweather says: “Having drawn at Thorverton we need to bring all three points back from Sandford, and I am confident we will indeed do just that!”
In terms of the final eight games, the Otters boss says: “The game plan is to bank as many points as we can and see where that leaves us. I think another promotion is a must in terms of the bigger picture for the club.
“That can come our way as long as we finish in the top four and I feel that is still very much within our grasp. That said, in order to do that we must bring three points back from the likes of Sandford.”