Ottery St Mary exact sweet revenge on Pinhoe

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary were good value for a 2-1 home win over Pinhoe that wrapped up their Macron League Division Four programme for the year.

The Otters, like the rest of the Macron League, now sit out successive Saturday’s, returning to action on January 7.

Given that the Otters had been beaten 4-0 in the season’s first meeting with the Pins, this clash had a very different ending and, despite the closeness of the final score, the Otters were far the better side and fully deserved to win the match.

They had to come from behind after shipping an early goal, but they were level by the break thanks to a Jake Allen goal.

It was Allen who netted the only goal of the second half to seal the points.

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Ottery boss Dave Fairweather said: “The pitch was heavy – indeed, boggy in places – and that made life hard for both teams, but particularly us as we do like to get the ball down and move it quickly.

“The lads adapted well to the conditions and, rather than single out an individual I think it fairer, after a collective shift like the one they put in, to laud the whole team in terms of a Man of the Match rating.”

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“Jake [Allen], took his goals well. If I had a gripe, then it would be about the goal we conceded. Like most goals, it was of the ‘preventable’ kind. The plus side of conceding another such goal was that we did not dwell on it and were soon back into our stride and, of course, ultimately we banked the three points.”

The win, a seventh in 15 Division Four outings so far this season, leaves the Otters sitting fourth, still on the coat tails of the leading three and well on course to go on and achieve a third successive promotion.

After the festive celebrations are done and dusted the Otters will return to action and face four successive away games, the first being arguably their toughest trip between now and the season’s end, a visit to Thorverton to try and end the perfect, played 11 and won 11 record of the Thors.

They then face trips to Otterton, Sampford Peverell and Sandford on successive Saturday’s and don’t return to their Washbrook Meadow home until February.

When the season resumes the Otters will have nine matches, two home and seven away, from which to accrue the points they will need to enjoy a fourth placed finish and with it likely promotion to the Third Division.

Fairweather says: “For my part, I am always looking for us to show improvement and I think I’ll best be able to gauge that when we play in the end of season cup competitions, the Golesworthy and the Grandisson, for then we will be able to measure just how far we have developed and improved in the current season.”

He continued: “As far as I am concerned at this stage of the season, we are on course. We had a sticky start when I felt one of two were perhaps thinking life would continue to be as comfortable as it has been. However, they soon discovered that the higher up the divisions you go the harder it becomes. The most refreshing thing for me is that I can see just how much the lads have improved individually and collectively since I took over earlier in the year.”

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