Ringer at the double as Otters book cup semi-final berth
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary leading scorer Corey Ringer netted his 15th and 16th goals of the season as the Otters booked a Bill Slee semi-final berth with a 2-1 win over Macron League Division Four side Winchester.
The Otters were good value for their win, but then the ever-articulate Otters boss Dave Fairweather had clearly done his homework on the opposition as he set his side up to combat what he expected to be a physical and direct approach from the Exeter-based opposition.
Fairweather said: “I knew that they were direct and physical, though they certainly were the latter!
“In truth, our performance was not the sort that you purr about seeing! But then, to be fair to the lads, this was a cup semi-final and there were the ‘to be expected’ nerves.”
He continued: “I do think nerves played a part in our general play for, certainly in the first half, our approach lacked that little bit or bravery you need at times and self-belief to ‘play your own game’. All too often we seemed to want to fight fire with fire and, at times, we seemed to want to lump the ball long just as they were doing and that is alien to our game.”
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Ringer powered the ball home to give the Otters a lead that they held until the final minute of the first half when the match official deemed an out-rushing challenge from Otters goalkeeper Hugh Court to warrant a penalty, which the visitors drilled into the back of the net.
During the break, Fairweather reminded his team of their ability and the fact that if they were to win they needed to revert to their ‘good habits’.
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His team responded to his promptings and, once Ringer had doubled his tally for the night, despite the odd ‘nervy’ moment in the closing stages, the Otters saw the game out to book a last four berth.
Kentisbeare and Whipton & Pinhoe have also booked their last four places and the final quarter-final tie is set to be played next Monday (April 30) with Crediton United hosting Tipton St John.
It was Crediton United who the Otters came up against last Saturday in a Macron League Three game that the Mid Devon team won 3-0.
Fairweather says: “We did not play well and it was certainly one of those ‘off days’ all round. Our biggest footballing crime was that we did not keep the ball well to any degree and that’s such a big part of our game plan. They [Crediton] were clinical with their finishing and hit us with two classic counter-attacks in the second half after leading us 1-0 at the break.”
Tomorrow (Saturday) there’s more Mid Devon action for the Otters when they visit Tedburn St Mary (3pm). It’s the first of what are five remaining league matches, four away and just the one at home.
The Otters are in midweek action with next Wednesday’s visit to Pinhoe.
? The Otterettes are home this Sunday (April 29) when they entertain Budleigh Salterton ladies (2pm).