Johnson back and scoring as Ottery Under-14s march with win over high-flying South Molton
PUBLISHED: 09:26 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 12 February 2020
Ottery St Mary Under-14s moved up to second place in the Exeter & District Youth League Division One table after a 5-2 win over high-flying South Molton.
The win means that the Otters remain unbeaten in the league and on course for the club's highest ever finish.
With South Molton the surprise package in this year's title-race - having gained promotion to the top-flight last season - Ottery will have been breathing a collective sigh of relief following the match, which was considered a potential 'banana skin'.
The previous week South Molton beat West Exe 3-2 and had climbed into second place and they struck first, netting in the fifth minute.
However, the lead lasted just two minutes before Jake Johnson, marking his return to the Ottery starting 11 after a spell out injured, volleyed home a Tom Bennett corner and that was the way things continued through to half-time.
Three minutes into the second half, Ottery took the lead.
Finn Upsher was fouled outside the penalty area and a Sam Gleeson free kick found Seb Copp who rifled the ball home.
A defensive error gifted South Molton a second to level things up again, but once again the Otters response was as clinical as it was swift with Upsher scoring from close range following a Sam Gleeson corner with the impressive Jack Carpenter providing the final touch before Upsher netted his latest goal.
With Man of the Match Fin Lashbrook together with Rowan Hewitt and Will Reid, closed things up to ensure there were no further opportunities for the visitors while, at the other end of the pitch, Johnson, Upsher and Jake Blackmore kept the South Molton back line busy and it was no surprise when the home side scored again with Upsher turning home a Gleeson free kick to score his 14th goal of the season to date.
With two minutes remaining, Blackmore scored the goal of the game, firing home a 35-yard free kick to complete the scoring.
Otters boss Ady Carpenter said: "It was a great performance against a difficult side. I'm really pleased we were able to come out in the second half and score four goals."
Ottery were due to host Ivybridge in the quarter-finals of the Devon Cup on Sunday, but the game was postponed due to high winds.