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  • Richard Honnor

Match report

Beer Albion Reserves 2-1

Beer Albion 1st’s were without a game last Saturday so attention turned to the Fishermen’s 2nd team who notched their first win of the season beating Sandford 2-1 in a Macron Devon and Exeter Division 3 game at the Furzebrake on Saturday writes Richard Honnor. It was a very entertaining and sporting contest and the young Fishermen were good value for their win against tough opponents who had won their opening 2 matches of the season scoring 15 goals in the process.

After a couple of early scares Beer took the lead with only 7 minutes gone. Sandford’s keeper failed to cleanly catch a teasing through ball and Fishermen’s midfielder Ollie Paget was on hand to nick the ball out of the keeper’s grasp, brush off a strong challenge and the slide home into an open net. For his efforts, Paget took a blow on his left ankle but this did not prevent the creative midfielder from being instrumental in most of Beer’s attacking play in the first 45 minutes. The injury however forced him to withdraw from the game at half time.

After a sustained period of pressure had forced a succession of corners the visitors drew level on on 24 minutes with a Matt Woodward header from 7 yards out. As the first half drew to a close, Beer striker Taylor Rooke became an increasing threat to Sandford not only with his pace when taking on defenders but also with his clever hold-up play enabling his side to build attacking moves from wide areas and through the middle of the park. On 37 minutes Rooke created a great chance for himself when he chased down a flick-on from Tom Neale but slotted narrowly wide past the keeper’s right hand post.

The game continued in the same end-to-end vein after the break. Beer’s youthful back line stood firm to sweeping Sandford attacks growing in confidence as the half progressed. In particular, Jay Catley impressed, winning most of the high balls and making timely tackles to break up the play.

As the game went into the final stages, The Fishermen began to get the upper hand. After a Ryan King shot from 25 yards rattled the Sandford crossbar on 52 minutes, Beer went 2-1 ahead on 61 minutes. A through-ball from John Cooper who was also having a fine match in midfield found Rooke on the edge of the box. The striker’s first touch took him away from one defender and then he held off a strong challenge to thread an excellent goal past the advancing keeper.

Sandford should have equalised a minute late when centre forward Ian Pidgeon headed wide from 6 yards out but the Fishermen continued to press forward and were awarded a penalty on 74 minutes after Rooke was brought down. Rooke failed to convert the penalty his effort hitting the underside of the bar but Beer held out comfortably for the rest of the game to secure the victory.

There were several outstanding individual performances worthy of nomination for man of the match but sponsors Pecorama of Beer gave the award to Taylor Rooke.

Next Saturday, Beer 2nd's are again at home. They host St Martins at the Furzebrake in the Bill Slee Cup. Kick Off is at 2pm and the match sponsor is Beer Fish and Chip Shop. Meanwhile Beer 1st’s resume their Premier Division program with a trip to Feniton.

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