Ottery Under-13s are given the Blues by table-toppers
- Credit: Archant
The impressive run of nine games unbeaten for Ottery St Mary Under-13s was ended as they slipped to a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of table-topping Brixington Blues.
The Otters went into the game without the service of leading scorer Finn Upsher, who had picked up an injury in midweek.
However, on the day, it was the Otters’ inability to gel as a team against a talented and clinical opposition that ultimately led to the defeat.
The Otters made a decent start and, in the early exchanges, playmaker Jake Blackmore found Ollie Milton in space in front of goal, but the striker’s effort was off target.
Play then switched to the other end where the Otters found themselves under siege from a determined Brixington.
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Ottery glovesman Jack Hembrow made a string of fine stops, but could do nothing about a close-range effort that gave the visitors the lead.
The table-toppers then got onto the front foot and it needed some terrific tackling from Ottery Man of the Match Sam Gleeson, and defensive duo, skipper Fin Lashbrook and Tom Bennett, who worked well together, to keep the Blues at arm’s length. However, they did net a second and then a third, with goal number three coming from the penalty – the spot kick ‘harshly awarded’ after a ‘coming together’ of Ottery defender Rowan Hewitt and a Blues striker.
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Just before the break, the Otters were left aghast when they were denied what seemed a ‘nailed-on’ penalty for handball, and half-time arrived with the visitors holding that 3-0 lead.
Boss Carpenter made changes for the second-half, sending Hewitt forward in search of a goal and the move paid dividends when, two minutes in, after the ball had not been cleared, Gleeson showed maturity beyond his years, calmly waiting for the ball to drop and half-volleying into the net from 20 yards!
Minutes later the three-goal lead was restored when a cross-cum-shot looped over Hembrow’s head and into the net.
Blues added a fifth, but Ottery continued to fight with a highlight being some tenacious tackling from midfield engine Jack Carpenter and strong runs from Fin Giles and Dan Wright. Only the depth of the crossbar denied Hewitt a goal before, as play switched from end to end, glovesman Hembrow made a wonderful save to deny the visitors.
Post match, Ottery assistant boss Mark Gleeson remarked: “Today showed that if you start a game with an attitude that it can’t be won, don’t be surprised if you lose!
“However, in amongst the gloom, glimmers of sunshine shone through with positive performances from Sam Gleeson, central defender Rowan Hewitt and our new signing, Seb Copp.”
This Saturday (February 2), the Otters entertain top six outfit West Exe.