Ottery face ‘massive’ Monday night home game against Winchester

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1526. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1526. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary eased their way into the final of Grandisson Cup with a Wednesday night 6-0 mauling of Willand-based outfit Bravehearts.

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1506. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery St Mary at home to Sandford. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1506. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The six goals – and a much coveted clean sheet – were the perfect response from the team from arguably their ‘poorest collective show’ for some time when they went down 6-4 at promotion-chasing rivals Winchester.

What’s more that defeat in Exeter came hot on the heels of a 3-0 reversal in their last home game to a Lympstone side that are now the favourites to lift the Macron League Division Three title.

Back-to-back defeats are not something they are used to at Ottery and it was a relieved Otters boss, Dave Fairweather, when he spoke the morning after the cup win the night before.

He said: “I think the final score of 6-0 flattered Bravehearts in as much as we did spurn some gilt edged chances.

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“However, I cannot be too critical of my players for they were so down on Saturday after the performance against Winchester and, to a man, they really showed us, particularity in the second half of the cup tie, just what they are all about and certainly what they are capable of achieving.”

The Otters led Bravehearts 1-0 at the break thanks to a Jordan Wilkinson goal. In the second half there was only one side in the contest as the Otters added five more with leading scorer Corey Ringer netting three, Jordan Wilkinson bagged himself a second and the other goal came from Tristan Courtney.

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The win means that the Otters have a cup final to look forward to and, in that final; they will meet the winners of the other semi-final which has paired two of the leading sides in Macron Division One, Sidmouth Town Reserves and Kentisbeare.

The defeat at Winchester could yet have a big effect on the Otters’ final placing in what is now a four-team battle for the top three places and with them promotion to Division Two for next season!

Speaking about the game, Fairweather said: “We were awful. I cannot hide behind excuses – though there are some relevant ones – but it does seem that when we pitch up at places where the grass is longer than normal and p[perhaps the home side have no footballs and need to borrow ours, we allow ourselves to get distracted and, without doubt, that’s what hamstrung us at Winchester where we did not start well, fell two goals behind inside seven minutes and never got going thereafter!”

Ottery have two more league games to go and, if they lost them both, it is conceivable that they could be squeezed out of the end of season top three! However, with Winchester and Lympstone meeting tomorrow (Saturday) things could change again – and they will certainly look different from an Ottery perspective at 10pm on Monday (April 29) for earlier that night (7.30pm kick-off) Ottery host Winchester at Washbrook Meadow.

Ottery boss Fairweather says: “Given the season we have had it is, frankly, unthinkable, that we might still miss out on a top three place. That would certainly be tough for us to take, but our fate remains very much in our own hands and one win fro the last two does guarantee us a top three finish.”

He continued: “In an ideal world Winchester and Lympstone will draw tomorrow which would set up to get the job done on Monday night at our place!”

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