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  • Writer's picturepaul88798

Beer 1sts 4-0 Topsham 1sts

After an extraordinarily successful season Beer 1sts were promoted into the North and West Devon Football League, this is going to be a very tough challenge for the team but one the players are relishing.

The preparation was not ideal as we had eight potential first-team players all unavailable, thankfully we added a number of quality players in the summer which enabled us to be able to put out a strong squad.

Two of the new signing Cody Bowditch and Daley Holmes were both in the match-day squad.

The opening minutes of the game were very scrappy as neither team were trying to play any football, but Beer were having more of the ball in the opposition half, this was helped by the strong wind.

With only 5 minutes on the clock Beer opened the scoring. A free kick out wide near the halfway line was awarded, Cody Bowditch lined up his options before swinging in a great cross, Topsham tried to deploy their offside trap but that failed thanks to a perfectly timed run from Josh French. Josh beat the offside trap and at full stretch, he volleyed the ball past the helpless keeper.

The home teams great start got better 2 minutes later when in the seventh minute Beer doubled their lead. This time our two wide strikers linked up superbly to pull the Topsham defence apart.

A great ball was played into the channel for Giles Basson to run on to, Giles struck the ball early into the area where Taylor Rooke showed great desire to get in front of the defender to strike the ball home again giving the keeper no chance.

With 5 minutes of the first half remaining Beer got their third of the game, Tony Pinder had just moved from midfield to right-sided striker, Tony made an excellent run across the Tops defender and into the area. As Tony jumped to chest the ball down the defender clumsily went straight through the back of him resulting in a penalty.

Tony took the penalty himself and confidently struck the ball into the corner.

The first half finished with Beer leading 3-0.

Despite the lead Beer were not particularly happy with the way they were playing; the team are usually much better with the ball and more confident in possession.

The wind eased off a bit in the second half which made the game much better to watch for both the managers and spectators.

Defensively we were more controlled in the second half, Liam Cox and Joe Adkin comfortably dealt with their striker. George Harwood and Cody were seeing plenty of the ball which they both used very well.

Beer Keepers kicking was again excellent, and he constantly turned defence into controlled attack.

Although there was not a lot of quality football on show Beer were still on top in the game, With Charley Skilton, Kyle Gould, and Taylor Rooke now in midfield they were able to dictate the midfield battle.

Beer had a number of chances throughout the second half but unfortunately for the home side the Tops keeper pulled off a number of quality saves to deny the home side

As the half-progressed Beer brought on substitutes, Daley Holmes came on and played as a right-sided striker, Will House slotted into midfield and Ryan King as a left-sided striker.

All three made an instant impact on the game.

Holmes was extremely unlucky when his great run left him one on one with the keeper, the keeper got something on his shot, but the ball continued goal wards, to the Beer faithful it looked destined to drop in, but it hit the bar and bounced clear.

King had an even bigger impact when he scored our fourth in the 82nd minute.

Taylor Rooke had the ball at his feet down the Beer left flank, with not a lot of options available he drove into the area where he slid the ball between two defenders, the ball found its way to Ryan who confidently rolled the ball into the far corner killing the game off. Rooke took a kick or two while making the pass and on another day a penalty would have been awarded.

As the game was ending Topsham finally got in behind the Beer defence but despite not having to make a save all game Elliot Driver raced out and got his angles spot on to superbly save the strikers shot and maintain his clean sheet. The game finished with a very pleasing 4-0 win for the home side, the standard of Beer’s football was not great but the commitment and desire from the home players was super, especially on a day like this where it was so important to get a first win in the Devon League under their belts. Every player played a big part in this win.

"Man of the Match, As always there were a lot of candidates,George Harwood and Cody Bowditch both defended well and their quality on the ball was excellent.

Taylor Rooke scored Beers second and made things happen when he was on the ball, but MoM goes to Josh French, scoring the first and was constantly looking to get on the ball, he worked extremely hard as the main striker.

2nd Team Report

"East Budleigh vs Beer Albion Reserves

Competition: East Devon Senior Cup

Beer set off on a rare short journey down to the recreational ground of East Budleigh.

Unfortunately, during the warmup, the managers had to alter their starting line-up as players Reece Hales and Jack Prior picked up injuries. Luckily, this was not too much of a problem for the managers Jamie Bond and Sam Philips, as Beer travelled with a full squad oozing with talent.

As the game got underway, it was clear that both teams were up for the occasion right from the get-go. Neither team were guilty of starting the game slow which was great to see. The first half of the game went onto be an uneventful half as neither team could break down the opponent’s defensive line. After 45 minutes it ended all square. What I can say about the first half was that Josh Lund, who had his first start of his campaign, Reece Best, who was searching for his first goal of the season, and Jacob Clode were running their hearts out, providing Budleigh with very little time on the ball, working extremely hard to regain possession for the team.

As halftime struck, the inspirational words of the coaching staff would prove to be a major help to Beer’s performance as they would soon score in the early minutes of the second half. This came from a delightful flick on from the head of Harry Lawrence, into the path of Reece Best who slotted the ball past the keeper effortlessly. Speaking to Besty after the game, he said “he is chuffed to get off the mark for the year,” some might argue it is about time too! As Beer grew increasingly into the game, it was great to see the fitness from the pre-season training coming into effect as we were seen to have the better of the opposition side. Saying this, Bondy and Sam saw fit to pile on the pressure by bringing on a couple pairs of fresh legs. With the new boys on the pitch, Beer were starting to play some excellent football. After winning possession off the ball, just in the oppositions left side, a lovely sequence of pass and move football was displayed by Sam Walker, Reece Best, Simon Smith and Harry Lawrence who would eventually be played down the line, with a good show of pace to penetrate the East Budleigh area, Harry then went on to make a lovely square pass across the area to an arriving Max Richardson who would surely make it 2 to the good for the Albion. Although Beer were looking extremely comfortable and coping with every attack that Budleigh threw at them, this was all about to change as the referee made a dubious decision to award the opponents with a penalty from a tackle made by Fraser Beament, who was having a superb game up until then. As anger built up from the decision, freshly off the bench Sam Walker could not help himself but to have a few words with the referee which would end up with the youngster seeing red and earning himself the prestigious award of clown! of the day. The East Budliegh player stepped up and put the ball in the back of the net, past an unsettled Shaun Denslow. And just like that, the fisherman were down to ten and the game had been completely turned upside down. Although Beer made a valiant attempt at keeping the opposition at bay, it would eventually end up with the away team conceding late on with a headed goal from a corner from their centre forward. At the end of the ninety, it ended 2-2.

The players all knew that they were about to face a penalty shootout as new rules would see it unnecessary for extra time to be played. The order of the pens were discussed and agreed within the teams. Everything was going to plan as Beers first three takers (Smithy, Max, & Besty) confidently slotted their penalties away. Shaun Denslow was trying his best in goal to help the team out by saving one of the opponent’s penalties. Next up was Reece Hales, who was brought on as a late substitute. Reece has said previously that he was happy to take a penalty so the whole team was confident when he stepped up to the spot, unfortunately, his confidence did not pay off as he blasted his shot wide of the goal. With Budleigh scoring all four of their penalties, it was up to Fraser to keep us in it. With Fraser being a centre-back for so many years, he very rarely has a shooting opportunity in a game so it could be argued that he lacks a bit of experience in front of goal, but what he lacked in experience he made up with courage, enough so to step up to the spot and try keep his team in the shootout. Sadly, this was not enough as the keeper made a decent dive to his right-hand side which done enough to keep the ball out of the back of the net, seeing Budleigh win the game 4-3 on penalties.

Although the result of the game did not end the way Beer wanted it too, the young team can be enormously proud of their performance and hopefully, we can get a result against East Budleigh next time we play them in the league.

Man of the match deservedly goes to Reece Best.

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