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  • Richard Honnor

Match report

In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 180, Beer Albion were beaten 3-1 by local rivals Seaton Town in the East Devon derby writes Richard Honnor. Both sides have been struggling near the foot of the Devon and Exeter League Premier Division this season and although it was an even contest throughout, the Seasiders carried more attacking threat and deserved the three points.

Only rarely did the Fishermen get their passing game going, relying too frequently on long hopeful balls which almost invariably found a Seaton head or ran through harmlessly to Seaton keeper Casper Paine. The long ball game can be effective with quick forwards but with due respect to Beer’s strikers, Chris Long and Richard Walker, they are not exactly blessed with pace. On the other hand, Long and Walker are a real handful when the ball is played into them but the quality of service to the Beer front men was poor.

Beer had the better of the early exchanges with Long testing the keeper from 20 yards on 5 minutes and then a teasing left wing cross from John Cooper missing everyone and sliding past the far post. But after an injury to a forward player on 20 minutes, Seaton substitute Scott Jennings was introduced and he had an immediate impact on the game. The Fishermen’s defence suddenly looked uncomfortable against Jennings’ mobility and pace. Indeed it was the Seasiders who went ahead on 27 minutes. After an incisive break, a shot ricocheted to Josh French who hit a fierce first time strike from an acute angle past Beer keeper Elliot Driver.

A couple of minutes later the Fishermen had a lucky escape when the ball was given away and a quick through ball found Jennings who took the ball early to beat the advancing Driver with a dipping effort which struck the crossbar. On 29 minutes Beer at last produced a good passing move resulting in Richard Walker curling the ball narrowly wide of the Seaton post. Walker was the one player causing problems for the home defence and Paine was forced to save at full stretch when the Beer striker turned his man and hit the target on 30 minutes.

Seaton struck again after an incisive break on 31 minutes. Jennings found himself unmarked as the Fishermen’s defence back-pedalled, and he scored from close in to put the Seasiders 2-0 ahead. However, the Fishermen grabbed a lifeline on 41 minutes when Walker reduced the arrears with a looping header inside the far post from Simon Smith corner.

After a scrappy start to the 2nd half, Seaton created two good opportunities. On 54 minutes a through ball from centre back Perham found Jennings whose shot was pushed wide by Elliot Driver. From the resulting corner French fired a fierce strike from the edge of the box narrowly over the Beer crossbar.

The key moment of the game arrived on 70 minutes. Beer constructed their best passing move finishing with a Walker shot from 12 yards which Paine parried at full stretch. Paine could not however hold on to the ball and as Chris Long went in the Seaton keeper brought him down to concede a penalty. Paine made amends however saving Long’s spot kick.

The Seasiders countered immediately forcing a corner which was delivered to the near post where Liam Riste got across his defender to head home for a 3-1 lead to Seaton. Beer still had time to get something out of the game but were able to make little impression on the Seaton back line and the Seasiders held out comfortably to secure the victory.

On behalf of match sponsor, the Cloth Shop of Seaton and Crewkerne, Mike Vine nominated Seaton’s Scott Jennings as man of the match.

Next Saturday, Beer travel to bottom side Okehampton hoping to complete the double over the struggling Okies and keep clear of the relegation spots. The Fishermen’s 2nd string are back in action at the Furzebrake with a Devon and Exeter Division 3 match against Otterton. Kick-off is at 2:15 and match sponsor is Mike Adkin.

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