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Beer Albion 1st’s 2-1 Appledore 1st’s

In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 100, a dramatic 92nd minute strike from wing forward Giles Basson preserved Beer Albion’s 100% record this season and keeps them at the top of the Devon League NE Division writes Richard Honnor.

Showing remarkable resilience and despite being reduced to 10 men, the Fishermen came back from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 win against a strong Appledore side.

Facing a difficult stiff breeze on a bitterly cold December day, the Fishermen struggled to gain quality possession the first half. Playing a high line and allowing Beer no space in midfield, Appeldore dominated the proceedings and the Fishermen’s defence was at full stretch for sustained periods.

It was no surprise therefore when Appledore took the lead on 26 minutes. Wing man Jason McGinley who was a constant threat with his pace and directness down the right received a short free kick and cut inside his marker to deliver a perfectly placed left footed strike from 22 yards which curled inside keeper Elliot Driver’s right-hand post.

The visitors continued to control the game and only some magnificent defensive work by centre back Charley Ledger and midfielder Finley Rooke kept the scoreline at 1-0 at the break.

But there was a glimmer of hope towards the end of the half when the Fishermen went close at a couple of corners.

After the break and with the advantage of the breeze, the Fishermen were at last getting into the game. Alex Paget and Jacob Rowe who had both been stifled in the first half began to win the ball and take control of the midfield. An early 30-yard strike from Paget showed Beer’s intentions to get on the front foot.

But the Fishermen were dealt a massive blow on 59 minutes when referee Adair dismissed Charley Skilton. The Beer midfielder who had been booked for a late challenge in the first half received a 2nd yellow card for a lunge on the Appledore keeper.

The sending-off had the effect of galvanising 10-man Beer and they bravely took the game to their opponents. Manager Rooke made substitutions and some key positional changes pushing centre back Liam Cox further forward and employing Finley Rooke in a more defensive role.

The Fishermen went desperately close on 62 minutes when hard-working centre forward Josh French was a whisker away from getting a touch on Giles Basson’s whipped-in cross from the left.

Two minutes later Beer were on level terms when Jacob Rowe scored a wonderful goal from 15 yards. George Harwood drilled in a cross which French laid into Rowe’s path. The midfielder took a great first touch and went past a defender to slot the ball home wide of the keeper’s left hand.

The visitors who had played with great energy to this point began to tire. They missed a great chance to seal the game on 70 minutes when their forward player volleyed high over the bar with the goal at his mercy after a swift counter attack.

As Beer surged forward, Rowe was stretching the Appledore defence with some pinpoint long passes and Basson was at last tormenting the away side with strong runs at defenders.

Just when a draw seemed inevitable, Basson produced his winning strike from 19 yards through a melee of players after Appledore had failed to fully clear a corner.

This was the Fishermen’s 12th consecutive win in all competitions this season.

Match sponsors Messrs Bullet, Popeye and Prickle awarded man-of-the-match to Beer midfielder Alex Paget who was supported by excellent performances from Finley Rooke and Charlie Ledger. For Appledore, winger McGinley was their outstanding player.

Next Saturday, Beer 1st’s are again at home when they face 2nd placed Newtown in a league fixture. Kick off at the Furzebrakeis at 2:15pm and the match sponsor is the Beer Coastguard Rescue Team.

After being without a game for 3 weeks running, Beer 2nd’s will hope to be back in Devon and Exeter Division 1 action next Saturday. They have a tough fixture away at 2nd-placed Upottery.

Wednesday 30th November

Devon Football League Cup

Stoke Gabriel and Torbay Police 1st’s 2-3 Beer Albion 1st’s

Beer Albion 1st’s continued their winning ways when they travelled to Stoke Gabriel and Torbay Police on Wednesday evening defeating the South Devon outfit 3-2 in the Devon League Cup.

The Fishermen produced a marvellous first half display and led 2-0 at half time through Tony Pinder and Alex Paget. Pinder struck in the 12th minute finishing off Charley Skilton’s near post cross with a superb first time strike into the top of the net. Paget added the second on 35 minutes when his header looped over the keeper after Liam Cox’s deep free kick into the danger zone.

But Beer were made to work extremely hard after the break by spirited Stoke Gabriel who took the game to the Fishermen.

“The Bees “ reduced the arrears with a headed goal on 50 minutes and after sustained pressure they equalised on 70 minutes with a solo effort from their outstanding number 9.

But Beer kept their defensive shape and clinched the 3-2 win on 75 minutes through an own goal. George Harwood drilled a great free-kick into the penalty box which flew into the net off the head of a Stoke Gabriel defender.

Best player for Beer on the night was centre back Charlie Ledger well-supported by his defensive colleagues.

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