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Beer Albion 1st’s 2-1 Kentisbeare 1st’s

Third-placed Beer Albion came from behind to defeat fourth-placed Kentisbeare 2-1 in a closely fought Devon and Exeter Premier game at the Furzebrake last Saturday writes Richard Honnor.

Beer started promisingly. Tony Pinder was only a whisker away from converting an excellent free kick from new signing Kieran Daniels and then Finley Rooke shot wide after a brilliant passing move again involving the impressive Daniels.

But the Fishermen were soon being put under increasing pressure by Kentisbeare’s long ball game. The visitors pushed three forwards high up the park and their pace and high-pressing provided a real test for Beer’s defence. The home side’s midfield was regularly bypassed by long balls out of defence and with the Kentisbeare midfield picking up most of the second balls, the Fishermen could not find the space to get quality possession.

Beer did have some joy on the counter but with Pinder ploughing a lone furrow up front, Kentisbeare’s big defence was able to deal comfortably with any threat.

Unsurprisingly, Kentisbeare went 1-0 ahead on 20 minutes when their forward was tackled from behind in the box. George Falwell executed a perfect spot kick into the right hand corner. The visitors began to dominate the game and but for a string of fine saves from Elliot Driver and a slice of ill fortune when they hit the woodwork, Kentisbeare could have easily been three goals ahead at the break.

After 35 minutes, in an attempt to break out of their lethargy, Beer Manager Mark Rooke boldly shuffled his pack by switching Will House to right wing back to provide more width and pushing Daniels up front to support Pinder. Ultimately, these changes proved to be the key to unlocking Kentisbeare’s defence but not before Driver brilliantly saved striker Rigg’s point-blank header on the stroke of half time to keep Beer in contention.

After a half-time pep talk from Rooke, Beer began to play with more purpose and commitment and they equalised on 52 minutes. Will House who had made a couple of incisive runs in the first half went past his full back on the outside and delivered the perfect cross across the six-yard box for the incoming Daniels to slot the ball home.

Kentisbeare were now holding on as Beer’s midfield found their range with some accurate passes down the flanks particularly down the right where House started to torment the visitors with his trickery.

As the game approached the final stages Beer’s superior fitness played a big part and Kentisbeare began to run out of steam. Opportunities were beginning to open up with Charley Skilton going close with a 20 yarder and Daniels striking a fierce left footer wide from an acute angle after good work by George Harwood.

After relentless pressure, the Fishermen got their reward after being awarded a 71st minute penalty for hand ball. Taylor Rooke fired home the perfect spot kick. Beer were now in complete command and missed several good chances in the final 15 minutes to increase the margin of their win but the final 2-1 score was a fair reflection of the game as a whole.

Best individual performances for Kentisbeare came from front players Lee Riggs and Matthew Lynette-Ley. For Beer, centre back Joe Adkin and Will House played very well but sponson Beer Coastguard Rescue Team nominated newbie Kieran Daniels as man-of-the-match.

Beer 1st’s are without a game next Saturday. Beer 2nd’s entertain Tedburn St Mary in the return fixture. Kick off is a 2:15 and the match sponsor is Beer Fisheries Ltd.

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