Ottery St Mary men and ladies set for Buckland Athletic double-header

Ottery St Mary face something of a ‘unique’ weekend with both the mens and ladies teams meeting Buckland Athletic opposition, writes Sam Cooper.

The men will play Buckland Atheltic Seconds in the Devon Football League South and West division before the women face Buckland in the Devon Women's Football County Cup semi-final.

Last weekend, the Otters came back from two goals down to continue their recent good form with a 2-2 draw against Bere Alston United.

Captain Curtis Winchcombe and substitute Todd Gilornan both scored while Benjamin Rushton was shown a red card.

Ottery made a sluggish start at Washbrook Meadows and quickly slipped to two goals down, one of which was from the penalty spot.

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They pulled one back through a spot kick of their own before an increased second-half tempo allowed them to score the equaliser.

The game saw Otters chairman - and the ladies manager - Mikey Ringer, take charge of the men's senior team for the first time.

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He said: "The performance on the pitch started slowly however grew minute-by-minute. Yes they went down two goals but we said from the off it would be learn on the job so to speak.

"The foundation at the back gave those ahead the freedom to play and it was refreshing to see the football they produced.

"Great pride has to be taken by all and keep the growth going. The chance is there for all to progress."

"Since Tuesday's training the buzz around the club was fantastic. The way the players turned up early and the way the first and the development teams bonded before they went off to their matches was great to see as a chairman and even greater as caretaker manager.

"The guys trained well leading into the game and the squad was based on the desire shown, with only four players starting the match that had started the previous game.

"There were players that had never played at this level let alone with some of their team mates. It was always going to be a challenge but it was the game and performance we believed it would be."

Looking ahead to Saturday's tie with league-leaders Buckland Athletics Seconds, Ringer said: "It will be a very different type of game to last weekend and there's no doubting how tough it will be, but we will give it our best shot."

The match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday.

? Ahead of the Otterettes' cup tie, Ringer said: "The last time the girls kicked a ball in anger, so to speak, was the beginning of December and they cannot wait to get going again.

"We wait and see where we are with players mindset after so many weeks without games, all we can do is give it everything and go from there, but our main aim is the league and to ensure we progress year on year as a group of players."

That game kicks off at 2.15pm on Sunday.

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