Beer Albion slumped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Colyton in this East Devon local derby last Wednesday evening. In open play the Fishermen matched their talented opponents and created numerous chances themselves but hesitancy and uncertainty at the back cost them the game.
Colyton took the lead on 11 minutes. From a corner, striker Callum Somers got ahead of his marker at the near post to power an unstoppable header past young keeper Elliot Driver. Beer responded well and after 19 minutes, midfielder Martin Adkin hit the foot of the post with a low strike after good work by Richard Walker and Joe Adkin. Then crucially for Colyton, their keeper and man-of-the-match Sam Riley made three fine saves in the space of 2 minutes to keep his side in front. First, on 24 minutes Riley at full stretch pushed Walker’s goalbound header from Andrew Foster’s free kick over the bar. He saved another Walker header from the resulting corner and a minute later he thwarted Walker again this time blocking an effort at point blank range. Yet another chance for Beer to equalise went a-begging on 27 minutes when Chris Long blasted high over the bar from 18 yards.
Colyton cashed in on their keeper’s heroics when Somers scored his 2nd goal on 32 minutes, another header from a floated innocuous-looking cross. The Colyton striker’s task was a simple one, looping the header over keeper Driver as Beer’s defence got in a muddle through poor communication.
In what was proving to be an eventful first half, Colyton defender Matthew Hall was dismissed on 37 minutes for a blatant elbow on Richard Walker. Walker himself had to come off for treatment and a change of shirt as his face was covered in blood. Immediately, Riley again thwarted Beer this time pushing a Joe Adkin effort onto his post and away to safety but on 39 minutes another defensive misunderstanding enabled Somers to complete his hat-trick to put Colyton three goals in front. Player-Manager Walker had seen enough and immediately bolstered his defence by moving Martin Adkin to centre back and bringing on midfielder Simon Smith to provide more creativity in midfield.
Although they went 4-0 down to another sloppy goal on the stroke of half time and were temporarily down to 10 men themselves when Joe Adkin was sin-binned, the Fishermen showed a big improvement in the second half. Martin Adkin got the back line organised and provided better protection for young keeper Driver who was making his Premier Division debut. Forwards Ed Karajev and Max Richardson brought on at half time injected some much needed pace and the Fishermen played some good football. Riley again saved his side when he pushed Long’s 15 yarder away at full stretch on 50 minutes and the visitors were foiled by the woodwork again when Karajev’s effort hit the post.
Beer did finally get the consolation goal they deserved on 82 minutes when Karajev volleyed home a fierce strike from 18 yards on 82 minutes.