Top spot within sight

Bunney aims high

Ottery St Mary could go top of the Peninsula League East if they can win against Liverton tomorrow (Saturday), writes Lee Glanville.

And while Dane Bunney’s side are missing four key players due to holidays and suspensions held over from last season, he will be able to field the same side which beat Budleigh Salterton 1-0 midweek.

Ash Mcdiarmid is unavailable for three matches, Dan Gill is suspended until October and two other players have one match suspensions to sit out.

He said; “Tony Bowker, the boss at Liverton, will put out a physical side against us. I don’t doubt that it will be a tough game. But, although we had the four players out against Budleigh, we did ok.”

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Bunney was delighted with the focus and approach to the Budleigh derby from his side. “I am sure that our chat after the match at Newton Abbot was key. It was all very positive play.”

The first half was evenly balanced with neither side scoring but, after the break, Budleigh Salterton took control, battering the Otters who defended solidly, rode their luck at times and held out. Ten minutes from time the Otters broke away and earned a penalty which Chris Ibbeson scored and they went on to dominate the final stages. “It was comfortable in the end,” Bunney said. “I think Budleigh had thrown so much at us that, once we scored, they were deflated.”

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So, while he knows they won’t get an easy ride at Liverton - who have drawn their two league fixtures so far this season - Bunney has the top spot within reach.

OTTERy St Mary got off to a winning start to their Peninsula league campaign with a 3-2 win over Galmpton Gents on Saturday.

Goals were scored by Ashley McDermid and Lance Easton (2). But manager Dane Bunney was not totally enthusiastic about the performance.

“The result was decent, but it wasn’t a great opening effort - sometimes the opening fixture can be a bit of a lottery. But I will happily take three points for a bad performance.”

Bunney’s fears came home to roost on Tuesday night when they were ‘spanked’ 4-0 away by Newton Abbot Spurs.

The Otters’ performance was very disappointing in all departments. The only player to perform anywhere near his normal standard was the hard-working Aaron Carpanini.

Bunney hadn’t changed the team from Saturday, but said: “Certain players did not play at the level expected. They had an off night, but it is a shame we have to wait until Wednesday, September 1, to get a reaction.

“We have set high standards, and we have to make sure all the players meet it. They were told so after the match when I kept them in for 45 minutes.”

Ottery play their first home league match of the season next Wednesday against Budleigh Salterton, when Bunney hopes that the town will turn out in force to support the team.

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