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Beer Albion 1st’s 0-0 Bere Alston United 1st’s

Beer Albion 1st’s had to settle for a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Bere Alston United 1st’s on Saturday writes Richard Honnor.  In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 120, the game was a tight, tetchy affair but, in fairness, conditions for playing free-flowing football were very difficult due to a strong gale blowing straight down the pitch. 

Bere Alston came to this match on the back of five consecutive wins and provided tough opposition for the Fishermen. They showed why they are difficult to beat.  They worked hard behind the ball to close down the space and were physically uncompromising in the tackle. 

Nonetheless, Beer Albion showed more attacking intent and created enough chances to win the game but the final ball just lacked quality and good opportunities from set pieces were invariably overhit in the tailwind. When the Fishermen did find a way through they found Alston’s keeper Mike Moore in excellent form. In contrast, Fishermen’s keeper Elliot Driver had a quiet afternoon and was only seriously tested once when he made a good save from a 12-yard effort on 17 minutes after Beer were caught in possession midway through their own half.

In the first half Beer went close on a couple of occasions through Tony Pinder and Finley Rooke. But the best effort was a well-struck shot from Aaron Daniels on 33 minutes which was thwarted by a brilliant flying save from the Bere Alston keeper.

After the break and now playing into the wind, Beer Albion were finding it easier to keep possession.  They began to get more success, particularly down the right wing where Matt Berry and Finley Rooke tested the visitors’ defence with some dangerous low crosses. But the Fishermen could not apply the finishing touch. In contrast, Bere Alston showed little attacking intent, seeming happy to play to  for the draw. 

Beer’s best opportunity to win the game came on 65 minutes when Finley Rooke was brought down in the box after a driving run. But Rooke’s spot-kick flew over the bar. His composure was clearly affected by some cynical interference from Alston’s midfielder which went unpunished by Referee Fullam. Otherwise, Rooke had a fine match. 

With 15 minutes remaining, frustration on both sides continued to grow and referee Fullam showed the red card to the Bere Alston manager after tempers flared around the away-teams dug-out. 

As the game entered the final stages the Fishermen piled on the pressure seeking the winner but Alston keeper Moore thwarted them with two more excellent saves.  The visitors then survived a couple of goalmouth scrambles and Beer Albion had to be content with a share of the spoils.

Unsurprisingly, Sponsor Colyford Butchers awarded man-of-the-match to Bere Alston’s keeper Moore. For Beer, Tony Pinder worked tirelessly throughout but Finley Rooke narrowly pipped him as Beer’s best player on the day.

Next Saturday, Beer Albion 1st’s are away at Barnstaple Town 2nd’s whilst Beer 2nd’s have a tough local derby at home to Farway United 1st’s. Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 2:15 pm and the match sponsor will be Adkin Boatworks.

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