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  • Richard Honnor

1st team match report

Macron Devon and Exeter League Premier Division

Beer Albion 1-4 Cronies

Despite a gutsy performance, Beer Albion went down 4-1 against Cronies in this Devon and Exeter League Premier Division contest at the Furzebrake on Saturday writes Richard Honnor. The Fishermen matched their talented opponents 1-1 up until half time but despite some valiant defending, they were overpowered after the break.

From the Fishermen’s viewpoint there were two key factors which cost them the game. First, when influential midfielder Pedro Fontes hobbled off on 50 minutes, thereby blunting any attacking threat Beer might have had in the second half. The other key factor was that they conceded three headed goals. To be fair, the crosses into the box were top quality and Cronies movement at set pieces made it very difficult to defend against but the Fishermen’s defence do need to mark tighter. Conceding headed goals at set-pieces has been the Fishermen’s “Achilles Heel” this season.

After early pressure from Cronies, Beer took the lead on 9 minutes with a fine goal. George Harwood cut in from the left and drove in a cross which was met by striker Chris Long who had timed his run perfectly to head in powerfully from 9 yards. Thereafter Cronies had most of the possession but Beer’s narrow formation frustrated their opponents. Cronies main attacking threat came down the flanks where there was more space on offer and from one such attack on 27 minutes the visitors almost equalised when their forward was a whisker away from scoring as the ball sped across the Beer goal.

The equaliser came on 33 minutes when Cronies’ Darren Carr got away from his marker to score a fine header from a corner kick delivered with pace at the near post. Beer then had to thank keeper Elliot Driver who made two fine saves to keep his side on level terms at half time.

Within 5 minutes of the restart, the Fishermen suffered a crucial blow when midfielder Fontes had to go off. Shortly afterwards Cronies went ahead on 54 minutes somewhat luckily when a low Danny Pym corner struck the referee. Pym picked up the rebound and this time swung over high cross which was met by Sam Seldon rising high above the Beer defence to head home from 6 yards.

In a rare breakaway, Chris Long tested Cronies keeper from distance on 60 minutes and the Fishermen battled hard to stay in the game. But they were undone by yet another headed goal on 69 minutes after conceding a free kick on the left side. The free kick was again delivered with pace enabling James Sharkey who had eluded his marker to power a header past glovesman Elliot Driver. Two minutes later the contest was over as Cronies scored their fourth goal. Keeper, Driver misjudged a high ball leaving Jamie Vaughan-Ryall with a simple tap-in from 2 yards out. It was cruel on the Beer glovesman who otherwise had a fine match.

Beer never gave up and were unlucky not to score a late consolation on 84 minutes when Simon Smith’s goalbound strike looped over the bar after a desperate block by a Cronies defender. On 89 minutes, the Cronies skipper received his marching orders for a rash challenge which detracted somewhat from what was otherwise an impressive performance from the visitors.

For Beer, brothers George and Jack Harwood made impressive contributions, but sponsors Kenworthy and Arbourne Builders awarded man-of-the-match honours to midfielder Josh Hannaford.

Next up for the Fishermen is a local derby at home to Colyton. Kick off at the Furzebrake is at 2:15pm and the match sponsor is Hansford’s Funeral Service, Seaton.

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