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Beer Albion 1st’s 1-1 North Molton Sports Club 1st’s

An under-strength Beer Albion 1st’s shared the spoils with North Molton 1st’s in a 1-1 draw on Saturday in front of a Furzebrake crowd of 120 spectators writes Richard Honnor.

On a bright crisp sunny day, playing conditions were perfect and there was little to choose between the sides. The Fishermen saw more of the ball, playing plenty of attractive passing football, building frequently from the back. In contrast, the Stags were content to defend in numbers and hit long passes trying to catch Beer on the break.


However, in a game dominated by defences, very few clear-cut chances were created and both keepers had quiet afternoons. The Fishermen did fashion a fair few opportunities at long range but most of these were off-target. Beer’s best chances came early doors. On 2 minutes, a Cody Bowditch cross flew across the goal on 4 minutes and 2 minutes later a good save from North Molton’s keeper denied Bowditch who had been put through by Josh Lund’s header. For the rest of the first half, both sides were restricted to shots outside the box by two solid defences. Beer started brightly after the break and on 48 minutes they appeared to have scored when Aaron Daniels powered home a header from a pinpoint cross from Tony Pinder but Daniels was just offside. Wing back Matt Berry created a couple of shooting opportunities for Daniels which flew over the bar and Berry himself tested the keeper from wide right. But North Molton always looked dangerous on the break and the deadlock was broken on 70 minutes when the visitors went 1-0 in front with a soft goal. Wing-back Cody Bowditch who was trying to deal with a long ball wide on Beer’s left touch line was bundled off the ball. North Molton’s wide man then crossed innocuously to the near post but the ball took a deflection off Liam Cox past keeper Elliot Driver into the net. Despite Beer protests for a foul on Bowditch the goal stood and to add insult to injury the frustrated Bowditch was then despatched to the sin bin for 10 minutes for remarks to the referee. To their credit 10-man Beer fought hard for the equaliser which came on 79 minutes Finley Rooke. The impressive midfielder fired home an unstoppable header at the far post from a well-delivered corner from substitute Harry Lawrence. By and large the game was played in a good competitive spirit, but there were a number of late challenges on both sides and referee Adair had to reach for his yellow card on 7 occasions. There were some fine performances for Beer. Front man Tony Pinder worked tirelessly and combined very well with Aaron Daniels. Charley Skilton, Josh Lund and Finley Rooke provided lots of energy and industry in midfield but the side did miss the attacking flair of the injured Jacob Rowe and they do need to show more composure in the box to put away a higher percentage of chances created. The back line was also solid and centre back Charlie Ledger was awarded man-of-the-match by sponsors Kenworthy and Arbourne Builders. Next Saturday, Beer have a league match away at Plymouth Marjon whilst Beer 2nd’s will be hoping to get back to winning ways at home to Westexe Rangers. Kick off for the home game is 3pm and match sponsor is John Wheeler Builders Ltd.

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