Ottery St Mary well beaten in derby meeting with Tipton St John

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary made a poor start to a new Macron Devon and Exeter League Division Three campaign when they went down 3-1 to neighbours Tipton St John.

Otters boss Dave Fairweather was left feeling very disappointed with what his charges had delivered over the 90 minutes of action.

He said: “We were outplayed by the better team who took control early on and bettered us in every department.”

Tipton St John coach Dale Strawbridge said: “We were actually disappointed not to win by a greater margin. We played, to a man, exceptionally well and had it not been for their goalkeeper I do think we’d have scored many more goals.

“From our point of view, it was all very encouraging.”

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Ashley Small, Sam Baker and Lewis Matthews scored the Tipton goals with Jake Allen scoring for Ottery.

What disappointed the Otters boss most was the fact that he felt his team ‘lost’ the game in the warm-up, something he eluded to saying: “It’s a real problem for us at the moment, and something that we have yet to overcome. It’s a mindset thing in as much as when we feel that the opposition are lining up with better players than we perhaps have, we tend to be beaten before a ball is kicked.”

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He continued: “That is so disappointing because we have quality in our team, but all too often, in certain games, we leave that quality in the dressing room and let ourselves down with an abject overall show, which is what we did against Tipton.

“They [Tipton] were good, they had a game plan and it worked. Had it not been for some heroics from goalkeeper Hugh [Court], they would have been out of sight at half-time. I think, over the course of the 90 minutes, Hugh must have come out on top in seven or eight one-on-one situations.

“For our part, the positive thing is that we have played so badly in the very first game and there’s along season ahead. Hopefully, this will be a ‘wake-up’ call to the players. They need to appreciate that, no matter how hard we work in the training, that does not give us the right to turn up for games and not deliver. We let down a good Washbrook Meadow turnout and need to offer some payback in the next game.”

That next game is tomorrow’s (Saturday) Bill Slee Cup first round tie at home to Beer Albion Reserves.

Fairweather says: “We will have talisman Matt Daly back – he missed the Tipton game and I can say with a degree of certainty that had Matt been with us on Wednesday night, we would not have played with such malaise!”

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