Otters boss praises squad’s second half performance after Waldon Atheltic win

Ottery football club. Ref shsp 36 19TI 9315. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery football club. Ref shsp 36 19TI 9315. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary manager Dave Fairweather said his side’s second half performance was the key to their 5-2 victory over Waldon Athletic 5-2 in the Devon Football League South and West Division.

The Otters made it two wins in their last three games and the away win was also the first of the campaign for the side.

The come-from-behind win was powered by Connor Swingler who marked his return to Ottery St Mary with a hat-trick having come through the youth set-up.

Tristan Courtney netted a brace to complete the visitors' scoring. The five goals were the most Ottery have scored in a single game all season, beating their previous record of three against Plymstock United.

The hosts took the lead in the first period but the Otters hit back straight from kick off through a penalty. The hosts retook the lead before the interval but four second half goals confirmed the Otters win.

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Manager Dave Fairweather said: "It was really good for us. The first away win and it continues the improved form.

"We didn't play particularly well in the first half, we were second best. In the second half, we looked a completely different side, controlled the game and deservedly won.

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"At half time, we just reinforced that we need to keep trying to do the right things in terms of how we're looking to play and stay patient. Not try and force it. It really paid dividends.

"We've had a few new faces which is what we've been looking for. The main thing is we can't be complacent because it could soon change again. We've got to keep working hard, keep improving."

The game was Ottery's first in almost a month and Fairweather said maintaining motivation over the festive period is always difficult. He said: "It's frustrating because all you want is the next game whether you're winning or losing. It'll be interesting to see if we get anymore postponements because we've got a fair old travel so we won't be wanting too many midweek games.

"It's difficult to keep players motivated as well. When you're not playing, that's when interest tends to drop a bit.

As we enter the second half of the season, Fairweather said survival remains the aim. He said: "To be honest, I think the only really goal for us this season was staying up. It was a big leap for us with the majority of the squad that finished fourth in the Devon and Exeter Football League Division Three last season. Staying up is the only real aim."

The result sees Ottery move into 14th place, ahead of 15th placed Lakeside Athletic on goal difference.

The table is not a true reflection though as only Tavistock Association Seconds have played fewer matches than Ottery's 12 and if the Washbrook Meadows side were to win their games in hand, they would leapfrog Plymsotck United and Bere Alston United into 11th place.

Next up for Ottery is a rematch of the Waldon match-up with the Otters playing host this time.

Fairweather said Waldon would need no 'extra motivation'. He said: "We just want to keep our good run going and if we're able to get the win, that will be three home wins on the trot for us which will be excellent."

"It's going to be a challenging game so we've got to make sure we're right on it."

The game kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, January 11 at Washbrook Meadows.

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