Otters sitting pretty in top two spot at Christmas

PUBLISHED: 13:44 20 December 2018

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6941. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6941. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Ottery St Mary players, management and supporters will be able to tuck into the festive food this Christmas happy with their work thus far this season as the Otters sit in one of the three Macron League Division Three promotion berths following their splendid 6-1 success at home to Newton St Cyres.

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6940. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6940. Picture: Terry Ife

Simply getting the game on was something of a major challenge – but the Otters were successful, thanks in no small measure, to the two hours of hard graft of four people – Dave Fairweather, Dave Weeks, Ben Rushden and Pete Chapman – who together spent the best part of two hours before the game, forking the pitch to remove surface water. There would have been a fifth helper, but chairman Mikey Ringer was hard at work in the Ottery clubhouse preparing things for that night’s club Christmas party!

Their efforts worked a treat and the Ottery players responded with a sparkling all-round show as they chalked up an eighth successive victory.

Leading scorer Corey Ringer, son of the club chairman, was one of the goal scorers – that, his 20th of the campaign – and the other Ottery goals came from Tom Purdy (2), Curtis Winchcombe, Connor Lovering and Jordan Wilkinson.

Ottery boss Dave Fairweather said: “It was great to make it eight wins in a row. We put in another team performance in difficult conditions. It is certainly the ideal way to sign off before the Christmas break!”

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6935. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6935. Picture: Terry Ife

He continued: “After our pre-match forking efforts we saw that the flanks were much firmer than the mud-bath that it became down the middle and so we ‘tweaked’ our approach and looked to get the ball out wide as much as we could and that paid dividends. We are blessed in the winger’s department with Jordan [Wilkinson], Tom [Purdy] and Dan [Welch], in as much as we have three players who all play the winger role very well with pace and ability in abundance.”

As for reaching Christmas and sitting in second place behind University, Fairweather says: “There’s no escaping that we are currently in a ‘good place’ and the great thing from my point of view is that, finally, after some four years, I can honestly say we have a squad bursting full of lads who are all buying into the high pressing game we want to play. What’s more, to a player, they are all ‘buzzing’, both in training and going into matches. There’s a spring in everyone’s step that always comes with any winning run and I am sure the lads simply do not want this run to end and, indeed, will work even harder to try and see an eight-game winning run become a nine-game stretch next time we take to the pitch.”

The Ottery players will now be able to enjoy the festivities for they are not back in action until Saturday, January 5, at East Budleigh.

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6933. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6933. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6921. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6921. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6901. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6901. Picture: Terry Ife

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