Ottery Res’ last gasp surrender

High flying St Martin s were visiting Washbrook this season in search of three points that would take them to second in the league.

High flying St Martin's were visiting Washbrook this season in search of three points that would take them to second in the league.

The two teams had played each other a couple of weeks ago in terrible conditions but this time the weather was perfect for football.

The teams kicked off to the tune of wedding bells to celebrate the Otters' left back Nick Searle's marriage and he would be sorely missed this afternoon. With him were Andy Davey (chauffeur), Rob Minto (best man) and Dan Gill (ankle) and Dan Jewell (foot) out with injuries. The squad again was down to the bare bones.

For most of the first half, the Otters' back four were under pressure; St Martin's were pushing forward but the Otters' defence were dealing with it. On the counter, Ottery were threatening and a few half chances were coming their way on the break. Both teams at the interval felt they had the chance of winning.

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Chances for the Otters came regularly with Scott Halliday coming closest, hitting a post after lobbing the goalkeeper.

The Otters' goal came 10 minutes from time. Hard work from Mahmut ended with him winning the ball and then being fouled near the left hand corner flag. The St Martin's' culprit talked himself into a red card and, to rub salt in the wound, Chris Ibbeson scored from the resulting free kick.

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St Martin's were down to nine men after the goalkeeper also talked himself into a red card and the pressure was getting to them. Halliday went through and had a chance to finish them off but his shot just missed.

The referee, who had already had a big say in the match, made another surprising decision, giving a foul against John Watson that left the defender, who was two meters from the St Martin's player, baffled.

From the free kick, the Otters went to sleep and St Martin's were allowed back into the game in the last minute.

Another lesson learnt for the Otters. With two more games to go, Otters will try to finish the season on a high.

By Tim Mills

Ottery Reserves 1, St Martin's 2nds 1

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