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  • Richard Dick Honnor

Hatherleigh Town 2-3 Beer Albion 1st’s

Macron Devon and Exeter League Premier Division

Hatherleigh Town 2-3 Beer Albion 1st’s

Beer Albion, sponsored by Edenvale Turf (SW) Ltd , came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at Hatherleigh in a thrilling opening match of their 2019/20 League campaign writes Richard Honnor.

Fielding nine players under 25 of which four were teenagers, the new-look Fishermen dominated possession from start to finish, playing some great football.

But in the early stages they were guilty of over elaboration in the final third, and the experienced Hatherleigh back line defended solidly to thwart the visitors.

Hatherleigh went ahead in the 29th minute when their front man intercepted a poor Beer pass deep out of defence and he slotted home past advancing keeper Elliot Driver.

Things got worse for Beer six minutes later when Hatherleigh punished slack Beer marking on the counter and Driver was given no chance as a clinical 10 yard finish was placed well wide of the Beer keeper.

To their credit the Fishermen kept their composure and stuck to their game plan, building patiently from the back with midfielders Finley Rooke and Charley Skilton prominent.

Crucially just before the break, Beer reduced the arrears on 43 minutes when winger Giles Basson scored from ten yards after a driving run from Skilton and a neat through ball from Pedro Fontes.

After the break Beer continued to dominate the game and Finley Rooke was unlucky when his 18-yard strike thundered against the Hatherleigh cross bar on 49 minutes.

Minutes later a loose back pass from Basson almost allowed Hatherleigh to restore their two-goal advantage, but Driver was alert to the danger, coming off his line quickly to smother the attempt on goal.

Hatherleigh continued to defend stubbornly and skilfully but eventually they ran out of steam as Beer’s superior fitness and constant attacking play took its toll.

On 73 minutes the Fishermen levelled the scores at 2-2 when live wire Basson scored his 2nd goal in spectacular fashion. Substitute midfielder Simon Smith found space on the left and laid the ball back into Basson’s path and the young winger hit a fierce strike into the top right hand corner from 20 yards.

The Fishermen were now surging forward and just five minutes later skipper Alex Hunt scored the winner when he headed in from close range after the home keeper failed to hold Liam Cox’s cross after Cox and man-of-the-match Basson had combined well down the right wing.

Co-managers Rooke and Potter were happy overall with their team’s performance although they would have had plenty to say to the players about the early defensive slips which cost the Fishermen two early goals.

Next Saturday Beer 1st’s face a tough home challenge when Whipton and Pinhoe are the visitors to the Furzebrake. Kick off is at 3pm at the match sponsor is Pecorama. Beer 2nds begin their Division 2 campaign with a trip to Otterton.

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