One hundred and four days after starting their season with a 3-1 win over Sidmouth Town, Ottery St Mary launched the second half of their 2021/22 South West Peninsula League Premier East campaign with a 5-0 win over the same opposition.
Since the August 7 success at Washbrook Meadows, there has been rapid growth on and off the pitch at Ottery. Indeed, of the 20 matches they have played between the two meeting with Sidmouth Town – 18 league and 2 cup – scoring 55 goals and conceding 38. Factor in the now 8-1 combined scored against the Vikings and the Otters have scored 63 goals, conceding 39 – that’s no less than 102 goals scored in the 22 matches that the team, under the management of Billy Rouse, have been involved in.
What’s more it is now six successive wins since the last time Ottery lost a game – that an October 9, 3-1 defeat at Ivybridge Town. The Otters now have a run of four successive home games before they next travel with that next away game being what looks set to be a mouth-watering East Devon derby at Axminster Town on December 27th (11am).
Back to Saturday’s action at Manstone Lane where the Otters scored five unanswered goals – three of them from the penalty spot.
Ottery were swiftly into their stride against the home side and struck early with Jamie Fanson netting after a Luka Nickles right wing cross was ‘half cleared’ and Fanson rifled the ball home from the edge of the area.
The first of the spot kicks came soon after with the other half of the Fanson twins – Marcus – unceremoniously chopped down in the area and Liam Carey despatched the spot kick with aplomb.
It was not until the end of the half – much of that down to the determined battling of the home side – that the game saw a third goal and it came when Danny Pym’s corner was met by the head of Connor Hannaford, the keeper made a good save but Charlie Cox reacted quickest to tuck the ball home.
The second half followed similar suit to the first with Ottery getting a lot of joy down the right-hand side through Marcus Fanson and it was Fanson who was the ‘creator’ of goals four and five – both spot kicks – as he was felled again in the area!
The first of the strikes from 12-yards did not actually find the back of the net immediately. Carey’s powerfully struck kick cannoning back off the cross bar only to fall to Jamie Vaughan-Ryall and his goal-bound effort was helped over the line with a deflection off Ash Small.
The games third penalty arrived minutes later and this time, after Marcus Fanson had been felled in the box, Carey drilled the spot kick into the bottom corner of the net.
It was a fourth clean sheet of the season and this was claimed by stand in keeper Ryan Willey who had a fine afternoon, starting attacks from the back with his sweeper like style.
The Ayre Roofing Contractors LTD Man of the Match award went to Nathan Cooper who was superb at the heart of the Otters defence from first whistle to last.
Next up for the Otters is a Saturday (November 27) meeting with Elburton Villa who they beat 4-3 when the pair met in Plymouth on August 21st. That day, the Ottery scorers were Liam Carey, Marcus Fanson, Josh Hannaford and Ben Lawrence.
Elburton Villa were unbeaten in four games before back-to-back defeats to Axminster Town – one in a Devon St Lukes Bowl tie and, most recently, a November 13 3-0, league defeat.
Villa have played just two away games since September 18! They were 3-0 winners at Sidmouth Town on the third Saturday of September, since when they lost 3-1 at Bovey Tracey on October 8 and then, in their most recent away game, drew 2-2 at Dartmouth on October 26.