Ottery face availability issues ahead of St Martins visit


- Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary went out of the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup when beaten 5-0 by Witheridge Reserves.

The Macron League Division One side moved the ball well around the Washbrook Meadow surface scoring once before the break and adding four more in the second half.

The Otters gave as good as they got – and then some – until the opening goal in the 20th minute. However, once behind they began to ‘wilt’ once more. That’s something that continues to be of concern to Otters boss Dave Fairweather who says: “It’s something I cannot seem to iron out of a number of the players who all too easily seem to slip into the mindset that the task is too big for them. “That cannot be the case when one, two, or even three down. It’s a character issue and one that we will eventually master.”

He continued: “What Witheridge showed my players, was that you don’t need to go on mazy individual runs. They [Witheridge], played as a team and were slick with, and without, the ball.

“Their movement and support play complemented their quality passing and they moved the ball around us, at times, with comparative ease.

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“I know we can also play that way, but what we need is everyone looking to play that way, just as Witheridge did do effectively last Saturday.”

On Saturday, the Otters return to Macron League Division Four action when they entertain St Martins Reserves (3pm).

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Incredibly no fewer than seven of last Saturday’s Otters eleven, plus one other, are unavailable for the game.

Fairweather says: “The level of commitment really is a problem. It’s not just us as I know other team suffer similar woes.

“That said, it’s very much a case on Saturday of opportunity knocking for the lads who get the shirt.

“If I was one of them I’d want to put a shift in that told the manager they want the short on a permanent basis.”

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