Ottery St Mary lose fourth successive match

Ottery's 1st team at home to East Budleigh. Ref shsp 39 18TI 1774. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery's 1st team at home to East Budleigh. Ref shsp 39 18TI 1774. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary suffered a disappointing week with back-to-back home defeats at the hands of East Budleigh and University.

Ottery's 1st team at home to East Budleigh. Ref shsp 39 18TI 1769. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery's 1st team at home to East Budleigh. Ref shsp 39 18TI 1769. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The game against East Budleigh was one that the Otters looked to have comfortably ‘won’ as they led 3-1 with just 10 minutes remaining, but, when the visitors scored a second, home heads dropped alarmingly and East Budleigh took full advantage to score twice more and take the points!

On Wednesday night, under the Washbrook Meadow floodlights, the Otters were thumped 6-2 by a University side that had a hat-trick scorer on the left wing who would no doubt grace a level far higher than Macron League Division Three! Ottery boss Dave Fairweather said: “The defeat to East Budleigh was – in a single word – crazy! We bossed the first 80 minutes to such a degree that a win seemed a certainly. However, they [East Budleigh] bagged a life-line with their second and the change in our body language was almost instant! We simply fell apart and shipped two more goals in double quick time to end up losing the game.”

He continued: “As for the University game, playing a student eleven is never easy and it is made all the harder at the start of a season when they are no doubt having a look at their new intake of students as to what standard they ought to be playing at. They had a lad on the left wing who was arguably the quickest footballer I have seen and we could not get near him.”

Speaking about the fact his side had now lost three successive matches, Fairweather said: “This is last season all over again. We sported one of the best three records between January 1 and the end of the campaign last season, but were hamstrung in terms of final table finish by the fact we made such an appalling start to the term and this year we are doing exactly the same. For me, as a coach, it is so frustrating and I sense that too many of the lads are waiting for that elusive win to boost confidence when, in reality, what we need is to be building our confidence both individually and collectively before we go into matches.”

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He continued: “We need to grasp that the important thing is for us to take ownership of the things we can control. Things like the intensity of our play and concentration over a full 90 minutes. We cannot legislate for the opposition getting a ‘lucky’ goal or perhaps an individual error coming back to haunt us. But what we can do is try and make sure that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet and concentrating on what we are good at and also making sure that we react accordingly, and positively, to set backs. Only when that happens will our results change.”

Tomorrow (Saturday) sees the Otters in action away at Axmouth United. They go into the game without the services of club captain Kurt Winchombe, Chris Ambrose and Ben Rushden, but Aiden Davey will be back.

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Boss Fairweather says: “We have much better players in our ranks than three successive losses suggests and I am looking for a positive response from the team at Axmouth.”

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