Ottery St Mary – the historic record of a first game of a new year

Action from the Ottery St Mary versus Otterton Macron League Division Three match.

Action from the Ottery St Mary versus Otterton Macron League Division Three match. - Credit: ©-Anthony Rowe L.R.P.S

Ottery St Mary head into Saturday’s Bill Slee Cup tie at home to North Tawton looking to keep an impressive run going in terms of their first outing of a new year.

Since rejoining the local league after a spell in the South West Peninsula League – one that ended at the conclusion of the 2011/12 campaign – the Otters have not lost their first game of a new year!

The first year of their time in the Devon and Exeter League, the 2012/13 season, saw them plying their trade in Division Seven. It proved to be a wet and harsh winter for that campaign to such a degree that the first game of 2013 was not played until February 2! They beat Met Office 4-2 in what was their first outing for seven weeks.

The following year, again in Division Seven, they had an even longer wait to launch 2014 as there was once again no January action and it was not until February 22 that the Otters finally beat the weather to play at home to Amory Green Rovers.

They certainly made up for their eight weeks without a game by thrashing Rovers 10-0!


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They were promoted at the end of that season and were then crowned Division Six champions in the 2014-15 campaign – starting the year of 2015 with another home win, a January 3, 6-2 victory over HT Dons.

Twelve months on and the Otters began 2016 with a January 16, 3-0 home win over Beer Reserves in a Division Five game.

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Last year, the Otters began 2017 with a Division Four game away at Thorverton where they drew 2-2 in a game played on January 7.

So, in the past five years the Otters have not lost an opening game and have won each of the four times they have played the first game of a new year at home.

That’s some record to take into Saturday’s Washbrook Meadow meeting with North Tawton.

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