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  • Richard Honnor

Beer Albion 2nds 1-5 Winkleigh

Bill Slee Cup

Beer Albion 2nds 1-5 Winkleigh

It was a day to forget for Beer Albion Reserves when they crashed out of the Bill Slee Cup 5-1 at home to Winkleigh writes RIchard Honnor. The visitors belied their Macron 3rd Division status as they were superior to their 2nd Division opponents in all aspects of the game.

It was true that Beer had the worst of the conditions, playing into a strong wind on a slippery, wet surface. The weather settled down after half time but by then the Fishermen were 4-0 down with no way back.

Beer had no answer to Winkleigh’s direct running style. The Fishermen gave the ball away far too easily, conceded too many free kicks with ill-timed tackles and were punished for it time and again.

Winkleigh’s opener came on 13 minutes when Robin Knight found himself one on one with Beer keeper Michael Westlake after a defensive mix-up. Knight rounded the keeper and slotted home. Four minutes later, the Fishermen could count themselves unlucky when a free kick was bizarrely awarded against them just outside the box after a Beer player appeared to be fouled. The free kick was converted by Knight at the near post to put Winkleigh 2-up.

Beer at last began to show some urgency but midfielder Alex Hunt was thwarted by keeper Anderson’s fingertips after a flowing move. But the Fishermen were punished soon after when they backed off to allow Winkleigh midfielder Avery to run at them from his own half and thread an incisive pass through to striker Chris Andrews who wrong-footed Westlake with a first-time finish for a 3-0 lead.

Richard Walker had Beer’s best opportunity of the half to reduce the arrears on 39 minutes but keeper Anderson saved well to deny him. But any chance of a Beer comeback was soon put paid to when Winkleigh’s Knight completed his hat-trick just before half time to give the visitors a 4-0 advantage.

The Fishermen continued to be pegged back in the second half and had keeper Westlake to thank for two good saves early on. But they could not prevent Winkleigh going 5-0 ahead on 65 minutes when Brant scored from a 20-yard free kick after another debatable refereeing decision went against Beer.

Winkleigh continued to dominate proceedings but at least Beer could console themselves with the the best goal of the game on 90 minutes when substitute Brandon Hopkins scored with a thunderous 30 yarder to make the final score


Beer’s best player on the day was tireless Jack Harwood but Mark Rooke on behalf of sponsor MGR Roofing Ltd awarded man-of-the-match to Winkleigh front man Chris Andrews.

Next Saturday Beer 2nd’s resume their Macron 2nd Division campaign with a trip to Uplowman. Meanwhile after a 2-week lay off, Beer 1st’s are back in action with a Devon Premier Cup tie at home to Plymouth Hope. Kick off at the Furzebrake is 2pm and the match sponsor is John Wheeler Builders Ltd.

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