Clyst Valley 1st’s 2-2 Beer Albion 1st’s
Beer Albion came back from an early two-goal deficit to earn a draw away at Clyst Valley in the Devon and Exeter Premier Division on Saturday writes Richard Honnor. Under new management and with a fresh team, Clyst Valley look a much tougher proposition than last season and in the first 30 minutes it was easy to see why they already have four league wins under their belt and sit 4th in the table. But the Fishermen showed steely resolve to get back into the game and in the end they were good value for the draw.
Clyst Valley took early charge of the game and after a long range effort flew just over the bar, they took the lead on 16 minutes. Beer have been guilty this season of giving away goals at set pieces through poor marking and this was again the case as Jamie Fanson, completely unmarked, powered in a far post header from a corner. The home side missed a great chance to go two up on 21 minutes, shooting just wide from close range with keeper Elliot Driver well beaten. The Fishermen had to re-organise on 23 minutes when Theo Hill went off injured and things got worse four minutes later when they conceded a 2nd goal. Yet again it was caused by failure to pick up players. Target man Fanson who caused problems for Beer all afternoon neatly laid the ball into the path of Ben Harris who, completely unchallenged, scored from close range.
But on 29 minutes, Beer were given an unexpected lifeline. The Clyst centre back under hit a back pass to his keeper and Max Richardson showed great awareness and a good turn of pace to nip in and poke the ball into the net to make the score 2-1. Buoyed by this gift, the Fishermen grew in confidence and 5 minutes later they were on level terms through an own goal; a drilled inswinging corner from Simon Smith flew off the head of a Clyst defender past his own keeper.
Indeed it was man-of-the-match Smith and his tireless midfield colleagues John Cooper and Alex Hunt who inspired the Fishermen to get back into the game. By pressing and closing down, they were now denying the Clyst midfield space to set up attacks forcing the home side to increasingly resort to high hopeful balls to target man Fanson, thus making it easier for Beer’s defence to contain the Clyst forward threat. Beer did have one scare just before the break when Driver had to be alert to deal with a fiercely struck 12 yarder.
The 2nd half was not pretty to watch as both sides played the long ball game which the defences were able to cope with more often than not. In this respect, Beer defenders Martin Adkin and Shaun Denslow showed their aerial dominance. Opportunities did occur however for either side to win the game. Beer striker Chris Long volleyed narrowly wide on 56 minutes and then Fishermen’s young gloveman Driver who improves with every game had to save well at full stretch following a sweeping Clyst Valley move. Hunt had a great chance to win the game for Beer on 83 minutes but missed the target from 12 yards after finding himself clear on goal. 3 minutes later Clyst spurned a final chance to claim the 3 points when Harris shot narrowly wide from close range after Beer’s defence had been caught square. This would have been tough on the Fishermen who battled so hard and thoroughly deserved the point.
Next Saturday both Beer sides face tough cup ties. Beer 1st’s have a Devon Premier Cup fixture away at Peninsular League outfit St. Martins. Meanwhile Beer Reserves are at home to Division 3 leaders Otterton in the Bill Slee Cup. Kick off at the Furzebrake is at 2pm and the match sponsor is East Devon Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.
Beer Albion 2nds 2-2 Clyst Valley 2nd’s
At the Furzebrake , Beer Reserves matched their seniors’ exploits, coming back from 2-0 down to take a share of the points against Clyst Valley’s second string, writes Mike Adkin. The visitors dominated much of the proceedings through the first half, and went ahead on eighteen minutes when a ball across the Fishermen’s box wasn’t cleared, allowing the Valley’s centre forward to slot the ball home inside keeper Henry Bartlett’s left post.
Beer almost squared things in the 33rd minute from a free kick, a header from Ollie Padget across the box saw brother Alex just head over the crossbar. But the visitors continued to enjoy more possession and play some neat passing football, and it was no surprise when their lead was doubled a minute later after some neat interchanges on the edge of the Beer penalty area.
However, the Albion slowly upped their game as the second half progressed, playing much more pressing football as the Valley’s players began to defend more deeply, and were unlucky not to get one back on 57 minutes when a Tom Neale shot was just tipped around the post. The introduction of Kyle Gould also brought an increasing threat down Beer’s left, and the Fishermen got back into the game when Taylor Rooke slotted home from a Gould pass on 62 minutes.
The increasing domination of the homesters then paid off on 72 minutes when a nicely placed Alex Padget header squared things up at 2-2. Padget could have sneaked all three points in stoppage time, with another header just over the crossbar, but overall, both sides would be happy with the draw, in what was another entertaining afternoon at the Furzebrake. For Beer, Ryan King had another fine game, but sponsors Marine House at Beer picked out the Valley’s Dan Holman as man of the the match, for a strong midfield display.