Ottery Under-13s book League Cup final berth after superb floodlit win

Ottery St Mary U13s after their League Cup semi-final success. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER

Ottery St Mary U13s after their League Cup semi-final success. Picture STEPHEN UPSHER - Credit: Archant

There were scenes of joy at Cullompton on Wednesday night as Ottery Under-13s powered their way into the Exeter and District League Cup Final with an impressive 2-0 victory over West Exe Youth.

It was sweet revenge for Addy Carpenter’s young side, just four days after losing 4-1 to the Exeter-based side in a league encounter!

The Otters made a good start with Ollie Milton prominent down the left flank in the early exchanges.

Jack Carpenter, with a heavily strapped thigh, made his mark early on with some crunching tackles and Jake Blackmore made some probing runs and it was one of those that created a chance that Carpenter took with aplomb, rifling the ball home from 10 yards to give Ottery the lead.

The Exeter side hit back, but, with Tom Bennett in such great form, serving up an accomplished shift in defence – arguably one of the ‘the’ stand-out individual displays of the match – opportunities to get back into the game were few and far between.

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Ottery might have doubled their lead on 17 minutes when, after more wing wizardry from Milton, Finn Upsher blazed the ball over the bar.

As play switched from end-to-end, Freddie Clarke had a shot well saved before, at the opposite end of the pitch, Ottery glovesman Jack Hembrow made a number of fine saves.

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With recent new team member Seb Copp impressing in midfield, Ottery continued to seek a second goal.

Both Upsher and Blackmore went close, but half-time arrived with just the one goal separating the sides.

Ottery continued to dominate from the re-start and were close to a second when Upsher, George Durham and Milton combined prior to the latter being unable to get a shot away.

West Exe threw everything they had at finding a goal of their own, but they got no change out of the Ottery back line of Bennett, Sam Gleeson, Rowan Hewitt and skipper Fin Lashbrook.

With 16 minutes remaining, Ottery doubled their lead when leading scorer Finn Upsher scored his 23rd goal of the season.

There was still time for Durham to see a shot well saved and, with Lashbrook tackling superbly, there was no way back for West Exe and the final whistle blew to begin great celebrations from a large band of travelling Ottery support.

A clearly delighted – and proud – Ottery manager, Addy Carpenter said: “That was special. Everyone put such a big shift in. To turn things round in such a way to defeat a team that had beaten us 4-1 in a recent league game speaks absolute volumes for the character we have in this team.”

In the final, due to be played in May, the Otters will face Exeter Panthers.

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