The reserves attempt to repeat last season’s run to the cup final started and ended with a dismal display at Otterton, going down 4-1 . If this report seems short then it wasn’t before the expletives were edited out.
Second to the ball from the off, Cullompton were pushed back from the first whistle and struggled to cope with Otterton’s direct approach, quickly falling a goal behind.
Although a strong penalty appeal was turned down when the rules were temporarily extended to embrace rugby, this was no day to blame the referee who also disallowed an Otterton goal direct from a free kick for offside.
Two more goals late in the first half created a three goal gap, and the monsoon conditions reflected the mood on the sidelines with Howie bearing some resemblance to King Lear in the pouring rain, be it with a large nose.
The performance improved in the second half including a strong display from Harry, coming on for his debut and keeping the ball moving in the right direction in midfield. Dan shrugged off a couple of challenges and struck a trademark 25 yard finish mid way through the half, but hopes of a comeback were struck when Otterton hit a fourth with a rare foray into Cullompton’s half.
A late penalty miss from Tom at the end of the game confirmed this was not to be Cullompton’s day. Last year’s first round game ended dramatically with two late late goals taking the game to extra time and an eventual 6-3 win, but such heroics didn’t appear likely and indeed did not arrive as the game finished to widespread relief on all sides.
FINAL SCORE: Otterton 4 – 1 Cullompton Rangers
Match report by D.Hawes