Wilkinson returns with hat-trick as Otters net back-to-back clean-sheet wins

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6104. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6104. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary boss Dave Fairweather was very satisfied late on Saturday afternoon.

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6106. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6106. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

That’s because he had just seen the Otters record a second successive clean-sheet success with their 6-0 win over Tedburn St Mary to set up a Bill Slee Cup quarter-final tie at the end of the month against Winchester.

The undoubted star of the show for the Otters was hat-trick-scoring Jordan Wilkinson. Playing as one of two ‘number tens’ behind leading scorer Corey Ringer, Wilkinson showed the Ottery faithful what they have been missing – Wilkinson had not played since picking up an ankle injury in pre-season – as he marked his return scoring the side’s first, third and fifth goal.

Dan Jewell, playing in the heart of the Otters midfield, bagged a brace and the other home goal came off the boot of an unfortunate visiting defender!

Speaking after the game, Fairweather said: “It was certainly an impressive way to say ‘I’m back’ from Jordan [Wilkinson]. He plays with controlled aggression and is a willing worker, but what he also has in his locker is turn of pace, which allows him to get in behind the opposition. It’s great to have him back and clearly firing on all cyclinders.”

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6093. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to North Tawton. Ref shsp 02-18TI 6093. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant


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The clean sheet – a second in as many outings – also pleased Fairweather, who pointed to the possible reason behind his team’s back-to-back shut-outs. The Otters’ boss said: “It’s certainly been a factor that, in the last two games, we have had new signing Adam Brook as the middle man in a back three and that has certainly helped us tighten things up.”

He continued: “We managed to get Adam’s services from former club Exwick Village as he has done some work with our chairman, who was able to convince him that we are the club for him! His presence has made a difference in his first two outings.”

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The Otters had been conceding, on average, three goals per game, before the 1-0 pre-Christmas win over Countess Wear. That’s all in the past now as the Otters, and Fairweather, plot further clean-sheet success.

This Saturday (January 13) the Otters are back in Macron League Division Three action with trip to Clyst Valley.

It is often the case in long periods of wet weather – such as local football is currently faced with – that games get called off and often a club second team will field an unrecognisable side filled with first team players who have had their own game called off. That may well be the case for the Otters’ trip to Clyst Valley this Saturday, but Fairweather is philosophical about the game.

He says: “It’s within the rules, but it does mean that invariably, at some stage, you come up against a side who are completely changed from what they might otherwise have fielded against you. That said, I am confident in our team’s ability, individually and collectively, and so, whatever the opposition field, I’d like to think we have enough in us to raise our game and get the job done.”

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