Clarke hat-trick as Ottery U13s enjoy Tiverton triumph
PUBLISHED: 14:12 14 March 2019
A superbly taken hat-trick from striker Freddie Clarke saw Ottery St Mary Under-13s to an impressive 5-0 away victory Moors Youth.
Addy Carpenter’s side outclassed the Tiverton outfit on a sticky pitch in near gale-force conditions.
Ottery began the game with George Durham partnering Finn Upsher in attack, with Seb Copp playing in a midfield role while there was a starting berth for Will Reid, taking over from the unavailable Tom Bennett.
However, it was the home side who made the sharper start and they fired narrowly wide of Jack Hebrow’s goal after pouncing on an Ottery defensive error.
Ottery quickly found their feet – and the opposition net – with Ollie Milton netting from close range from a 13th minute Sam Gleeson corner.
With Rowan Hewitt and Reid forming a solid defensive pairing, there was little opportunity for the home side to hit back and, with Jack Carpenter and Jake Blackmore orchestrating things from midfield, further chances began to be created.
Clarke was sent on for Durham, but Ottery’s next attack came from an unexpected source, as skipper (and full-back) Fin Lashbrook had the Moors keeper stretching to save a stinging 30-yard drive!
After a Moors effort sailed mighty close to the Otters’ net, this seemed to spark them into life and, just before the break, Freddie Clarke latched onto a through-ball from Copp before resisting a couple of challenges and rifling the ball home from a tight angle.
Early in the second half a fine Hembrow save, low to his left, meant the Otters retained their two goal lead and, four minutes later, it was 3-0 with Clarke stabbing home from close range after efforts from Upsher and Milton were cleared off the line.
Six minutes later Upsher scored his 22nd of the season, beating the keeper with a downward header from six yards after a perfectly delivered corner from Gleeson.
It was Clarke who scored the fifth and final goal, completing his hat-trick in the process as he latched onto a Jake Blackmore through-ball and volleyed home to wrap up a most efficient morning for the Otters.
Ottery assistant manager Mark Gleeson praised his team for getting the job done in difficult conditions, singling out Fin Lashbrook in defence and Man of the Match Clarke for his finishing.
He said: “We have just been to a top five side and beaten them 5-0, and that is very pleasing.”
Carpenter’s side stay fourth in the table and this Saturday (March 16) travel to last year’s Division 2 champions, Okehampton, who pipped Ottery to the title in May. The game promises to be a good gauge of both teams’ progress this term.
The Otters also have a confirmed date now for their League Cup semi-final against Exeter-based West Exe Youth. It will take place at the home of Cullompton Rangers on Tuesday, March 19, with the game being played on the main pitch there under floodlights.