Young Otters' best so far

Ottery St Mary 1st XI lost at home to the only other team in the Peninsula League without a win so far this season, 3-1.

Ottery St Mary 1st XI lost at home to the only other team in the Peninsula League without a win so far this season, 3-1. The visitors raced in to a two goal lead before Danny Tyrell brought the Otters back in to the game just before half time. The Otters never really got going in the second half and it was Liverton who scored again to make the points safe and the final score 1-3The Reserves have come a long way in two weeks. Having lost against Okehampton 6-0 at home two weeks ago and drawn at home last week against bottom of the league Bickleigh, they faced a very tough match away to Exmouth Ammies in the cup, a side who thumped them at home 6-0 early in the season.After the Okehampton match manager Mark Murrin got all second team players together to discuss what was going wrong with the seconds.All players had comments which were all taken on board by the second team manager. All agreed that where possible all the squad should attend training and that the seconds were having to start again this season with new players who have not played together and have not gelled.So what better time to go to Ammies - no pressure as it was a cup game. All the manager asked of his players was to give him 100 per cent commitment and that is what he got from all his squad.Mam had dropped out late Saturday morning so Murrin, 43, started up front, which brought the average age of the squad up to 20!He gave just-turned-sixteen Matt Clothier-Smith his debut and had Andy Wharton from the firsts up front with him.From the start, Exmouth applied pressure to the Otters' back four of King, Ford, Bull and Knight but, with the support of the midfield, they defended wellCook and Laycock in midfield were gelling together and worked the ball out wide on several occasions for Clothier-Smith and Jack Collins to deliver early crosses. Murrin had the first attempt on goal a half volley from 25 yards which just went over. A well delivered corner from Jack Collins on the right fell to Murrin, who had a free header, and calmly put the ball in the net. Otters were in the game.Both teams had chances in the remaining 20 minutes but the Otters' defence restricted the Ammies to long shots which Dinsdale kept out well.At half time Murrin told his men to 'keep the ball down, keep tight and keep doing what we had in the first half'. Playing against a strong wind Ottery did well to play the ball on the ground but Ammies, with their long ball tactics, scored inside 10 minutes. The young Otters side did not look comfortable after this and Ammies went on to take the lead ten minutes after scoring their first.Ottery had a few chances. Ammies were well on top of the game, but captain Dinsdale in goal for Ottery did well in keeping the third goal out.Andy Wharton took on three players in the Exmouth box and was past the keeper when it appeared he was taken out by their number one but the referee, who had had a great game, waved 'play on you dived!'Murrin took his tired legs off and was replaced by Reynolds and King was replaced by Goldfinch with 10 minutes to go.Ammies finished off the game with five minutes remainingThis was the best performance of the season as the young Ottery side battled well against a very strong Exmouth team.l Man Of The Match and winner of Paula's bottle of wine was Ethan King who had his first full start off the season having been on the bench all season.

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