Table-topping Otters all set for Pinhoe test

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary sit top of the fledgling Macron League Division Four table after their 2-1 Washbrook Meadow win over University.

The game panned out almost exactly as Otters boss Dave Fairweather had forecast with the students proving to be fast-paced and very busy in all areas of the pitch.

A James Gosney goal gave the Otters a half-time lead, but the students levelled after the break and it required some hard work from the home side before Connor Lovering netted what proved to be the winning goal.

Fairweather said: “They (University) were every bit as good as I had thought they’d be. It was a good test for us and I am delighted with how we came out of it. It’s rare to get a perfect performance and we still have plenty of work to do as a team, but the boys showed real character to find enough resolve to dig deep after their had levelled to go on and win the game.”

On Saturday the Otters travel to meet a Pinhoe side that sits rock bottom of the early season table having shipped six goals in both their opening matches, losing 6-0 at Uplowman and 6-2 at Thorverton. They also went down by the odd goal in seven to Newton Poppleford in a Bill Slee Cup tie, but did register a first win of the season last weekend when they beat South Devon League side Waldon Athletic Reserves 7-1 in the Devon Intermediate Cup.

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Fairweather is again with Tom Collins; last season’s top scorer for the club is spending a second successive Saturday visiting Universities and also missing is James Gosney.

Fairweather says: “We are without a couple as we are in the middle of the ‘taking-a-look-at-Uni’ season. It’s a shame as, like all managers, I really want to field a settled side and players in and out each week is a real problem. That said we have a squad of 14 who will go into Exeter and I am sure serve us well.”

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Looking further ahead, the Otters have been drawn at home to Witheridge reserves in the second round of the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup. That tie is being played on Saturday October 15 before which the Otters visit Pinhoe, then host Sampford Peverell and travel to Priory. Fairweather says: “We cannot think of the cup tie yet. The next three league games are very important. When they are out of the way we’ll put all our efforts into what should be a terrific test for the team against the reserve’s of a South West Peninsula League Premier Division side.”

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