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Otters in action

Otters in action - Credit: Ottery St Mary AFC

Ottery St Mary entered Peninsula League football full of hope and expectation, but also tinged with some uncertainty as to how they would fare. 

The Otters delighted their home fans with a derby win over Sidmouth Town on the opening day and, apart from a 6-3 defeat to an impressive Brixham side, the early road was fairly smooth. 

There was a thrilling 4-3 triumph at Elburton Villa and a game that typified the intense level of competition in this league, with the Plymouth-based side struggling down the bottom, and yet still able to run the Otters very close. 

A 1-0 loss at home to Torridgeside was a frustrating one for manager Billy Rouse and his team, but the response was superb, trouncing Bovey Tracey 7-0 on their own patch, and with some of the usual attacking suspects finding form. 

Players like Liam Carey, Marcus Fanson, James Fanson, Luke Nickles, Ash Small, Ben Lawrence all have the ability to score goals at this level, and those around them have performed with equal promise. 

A narrow loss to Axminster Town in the Peninsula League Cup was a tough one to take, although the Tigers are looking a very strong outfit this term. It was the successive defeats to a powerful Torpoint Athletic and old foes Okehampton Argyle that probably hurt more. 

The reaction was a win over Marjon but a penalty shoot-out loss to Torrington in the St Luke’s Challenge Cup was tough to take, especially as it was followed by a 4-3 reverse at the same opponent in the league. 

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The 3-1 loss at Ivybridge meant the Otters travelled to South Devon on Wednesday evening seeking their first clean sheet in ten games. While hosts Stoke Gabriel & Torbay Police might be bottom of the league, it was still an awkward prospect on a wet and windy night. 

Step forward Marcus Fanson with a superb hat-trick, backed up by a double from recent recruit Oscar Walsh, to secure a 5-0 win. Three points at home to Cullompton on Saturday could move them up to third in the table. Not bad for a debut season, not bad at all! 

Ottery St Mary AFC

Ottery St Mary AFC - Credit: Ottery St Mary AFC

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