Ottery St Mary Under-14s exit cup after rare defeat

Seb Copp in action for Ottery U14s during their cup meeting with Exeter Panthers. Picture STEPHEN UP

Seb Copp in action for Ottery U14s during their cup meeting with Exeter Panthers. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary Under-14s exited the Exeter & District Youth League Cup, beaten 4-0 at home by a very good Exeter Panthers side.

The Otters, who defeated Panthers in the final of the U13 League Cup earlier this year were, on the day, second best to a team that played some slick football and dominated, particularly from set-pieces.

Addy Carpenter's side must now concentrate on the league, where they have only played two games because of the weather, and they also are through to the last eight of the Devon Cup.

Indeed, such has been the run of success that this defeat is the first the Otters have suffered in eleven games, a run that stretches back to March.

Ottery had the first chance of the game, Jake Johnson firing just wide of goal after good work from Finn Upsher.

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Panthers didn't take long to settle though and, on 10 minutes, forced Ottery glovesman Jack Hembrow into a fine save. Hembrow repeated the feat a minute later, this time keeping the home side in the game with an outstretched boot.

Ottery midfielder Jack Carpenter was unlucky not to put the home side in front after ten minutes, when his close range volley was brilliantly saved by the Panthers' keeper.

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After 14 minutes Panthers took the lead when the impressive Harvey Maddocks rose high above the Ottery defence to head home.

Ottery responded straight away, Finn Upsher sending in a stinging shot that was saved by the Panthers' keeper. Jake Blackmore headed a Tom Bennett free-kick narrowly wide for the home side as they tried to get on the scoresheet.

Despite Ottery pressure it was Panthers who went into the break 2-0 up, with the towering Maddocks nodding in an almost identical header from another corner right on stroke of half time.

Carpenter tried to rally his troops at the break but it was the away side that started the second half the strongest, forcing skipper Fin Lashbrook and the impressive Rowan Hewitt into some good defending to keep the score down.

But it wasn't all Panthers, and Ottery midfielder Jake Blackmore almost pulled one back only to be denied by the opposition glovesman.

Panthers extended their lead 10 minutes into the second period with Maddocks firing in an unstoppable 20-yard shot to complete his hat-trick.

Carpenter shuffle his pack, bringing on Will Reid, Finn Giles, George Durham and Freddie Clarke. Reid, who was later named Man of the Match, impressed in the centre of the park in an unfamiliar position, putting in a shift and making some crunching tackles alongside the ever impressive Jack Carpenter.

With quarter of an hour remaining, Panthers ensured a place in the semi-finals with a fourth, this time from substitute Samuel Bowen.

Hembrow made a couple of late saves before Durham and Upsher went close at the other end.

At the final whistle, Ottery boss Adey Carpenter said: "They [Panthers] are a very good side and deserved their win. They have a big lad up front and you have got to deal with him. Unfortunately we didn't."

The two teams meet again this coming Saturday (December 7) in a league match with Ottery looking to exact some sweet revenge for this cup defeat.

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