Two free kicks condemn Ottery to defeat away at University of Exeter

Ottery away at Beer. Ref shsp 08 19TI 0366. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery away at Beer. Ref shsp 08 19TI 0366. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary suffered their first defeat in four as they lost 3-1 away to University of Exeter 4th.

Two free kicks and a late injury time goal was enough to overturn a first minute goal from the Otter’s Dan Welch.

Fresh from what he called a ‘perfect week’ following the birth of his daughter and a 4-0 win at home against Tedburn St Mary, Ottery St Mary manager Dave Fairweather’s team could hardly have had a better start as they went 1-0 up in the first minute.

Some careless possession in their own box from Exeter allowed Dan Welch a chance to volley towards goal and the effort found its way in at the far post.

The university side did not take long to get back into the game though as a free kick on the edge of the box glided into the top right corner of the Ottery net.

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The Otters pushed to find a way in front again but for a team that has scored 89 goals this season, they seemed uncharastically lacking in front of goal. A header from a corner was glanced wide while a driven cross failed to find anyone in the box.

Just a few moments later and it was déjà vu as Exeter again scored from a set piece. Another free kick conceded but this time to the left of the pitch and the whipped effort had enough pace on it to beat the Ottery keeper.

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The half time whistle came with Exeter ahead but Ottery confident they could find a way back into the game.

The second half started with the away side pushing for an equaliser. An effort was saved for a corner before a goal line clearance was needed to keep the score at 2-1.

Before the game, manager Dave Fairweather said he wanted his team to be as clinical as possible but ultimately it was the missed chances that let them down.

As the team pushed forward in search of equaliser, Exeter grabbed a third in the dying minutes of injury time. A floated corner was not cleared and the University player tapped in at the far post.

After the game, Fairweather said he didn’t think the team deserved to lose and that on a different day they would have won.

He said: “First 20 minutes, they were the better side but they scored two really good free kicks which you can’t do too much about. On another day, we would have won but it’s a funny place to come here with funny pitches and it just seemed to throw us off our game.

“We created a lot of chances in the second half. We weren’t at our best but we completely dominated them in the second half so it’s frustrating for us. We’ve just got to bounce back, we’ve got a cup game tomorrow (Sunday) so we’ve got to get ourselves up for that now.

Next on the horizon for Ottery is a Morrison Bell Cup game tomorrow (Sunday March 9) against Seaton Town.

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