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Beer Albion 1st’s 1-0 Plymouth Marjon 1st’s 

Beer Albion 1st’s rounded off 2023 with a 1-0 home win against Plymouth Marjon 1st’s writes Richard Honnor.  In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 90, the Fishermen were made to work hard for the three points by a resolute Marjon but an early goal from Josh French turned out to be enough to seal the win and keep his side handily placed in the top four.

Beer looked very sharp at the outset and took the game to their opponents with some excellent attacking football.  After Tony Pinder’s shot was well saved by Marjon keeper Dominic Richards on 5 minutes, the Fishermen took the lead one minute later.   Keeper Richards made another good save to thwart Brooklyn Wilkins after Taylor Rooke’s through ball split open the Marjon defence. But the talented keeper could not prevent French from coolly slotting home the rebound from 8 yards out.

The Fishermen piled on the pressure and had a number of chances to increase their lead. But keeper Richards thwarted Beer’s Aaron Daniels with another good stop on 15 minutes and then Wilkins’ 19th minute pile-driver from 30 yards whistled inches wide of the post.

With Marjon frustrated at being unable to mount meaningful attacks, a number of unpleasant skirmishes crept in which unsettled both sides. Consequently, the quality of the game suffered. As half time approached, Beer thought they had increased their lead through a tap-in rebound at the far post after yet another great block by the Marjon keeper. But after appearing to award the goal, Referee Nick Adair changed his mind after a lengthy consultation with the linesman. It was a confusing situation as the linesman had not raised his flag for offside.

After the break, Marjon caught the Beer defence cold, creating their first goal scoring chance of the game. A 18-yard effort looked bound for the corner but Beer keeper Charlie Ledger made an excellent save at full stretch.

The Fishermen responded strongly and Wilkins hit the post on 55 minutes and then French narrowly headed wide the impressive winger’s cross on 62 minutes. Marjon were now creating chances on the break and once again Ledger made an excellent save at full stretch to push a goal-bound effort on to the the outside of the post.

Then French went close once again on 68 minutes after the Fishermen’s best move of the half involving Wilkins, Pinder and Daniel. 

With just a one-goal advantage Beer became somewhat edgy in the last 15 minutes, conceding a couple of free kicks just outside their penalty area and then they had to thank the faultless Ledger for another fine save on 78 minutes, this time at point-blank range. But the Fishermen saw out the game to secure a deserved win.

There were some notable performances on either side. 

For Marjon, their outstanding player was keeper, Dominic Richards. For Beer, centre back George Richards and keeper Ledger were magnificent throughout but match sponsor Beer Coastguards awarded man-of-the-match to Fishermen’s goal scorer and in-form forward, Josh  French. 

The next home game is on 6th January when Beer 1st’s host Feniton 1st’s. Kick-off is at 2:15pm and the match sponsor will be The Harbour Beer Boys.

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