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  • Richard Honnor

Beer Albion 1st’s 2-1 Lapford 1st’s

Macron Devon and Exeter Premier Division

Beer Albion 1st’s 2-1 Lapford 1st’s 

Beer Albion (sponsored by Edenvale Turf (SW) Ltd) chalked up their 6th Macron Premier Division win in 9 starts with a gritty 2-1 win against 3rd-placed Lapford at the Furzebrake on Saturday writes RIchard Honnor.  Having knocked their mid-Devon opponents out of the Devon Premier Cup earlier in the season in a penalty shoot-out, this game was never going to be a stroll in the park for the the young Fishermen.

The experienced Lapford defence was tough and uncompromising throughout and it took a goal of real quality to break them down on 25 minutes. Front man RIchard Walker making only his 2nd start for the Fishermen this season received a pass from  Finley Rooke and chested the ball off perfectly for midfielder Charley Skilton to hit a rasping 25-yard strike into the top corner.

Beer continued to have the better of the exchanges in the first half with Walker going close on 2 occasions but they survived a scare on 35 minutes when keeper Elliot Driver dropped an innocuous-looking high free kick into the path of a Lapford attacker but George Harwood made a desperate block 6 yards out and the ball was scrambled away to safety.

After the break, Lapford pushed on in search of an equaliser and Driver made a fine save on 50 minutes to thwart a far-post header.  The Fishermen were forced to adopt an unusually narrower midfield formation with wide players Basson and Catley tucking in deeper. This meant fewer opportunities for the two young wingers to use their pace to get behind the Lapford defence.

But the pressure was relieved on 75 minutes. Richard Walker’s 12-yard strike was well saved  by Lapford keeper Matt Parsell but, as the ball broke loose, Beer’s Taylor Rooke was brought down near the goal line and referee Roberts awarded a penalty.  Lapford furiously disputed the decision but to no avail as Rooke himself converted the spot-kick to put his side 2-0 ahead. 

Lapford were by no means finished however and Beer were forced to defend desperately for the final 15 minutes. After narrowly missing the target with a header at the far post, the visitors did manage to score a consolation goal on 90 minutes but the Fishermen held on to secure the 3 points.

Match sponsor Clinton Devon Estates nominated Taylor Rooke as the best player the field.  Playing just behind the main striker, Taylor’s work rate and commitment often go unnoticed but he has been one of Beer’s most consistent performers so far this season. 

Next week Beer have a league game away at Whipton and Pinhoe. Meanwhile, at the Furzebrake ,Beer 2nd’s, who lost narrowly at table toppers East Budleigh last Saturday,  entertain Otterton 1st’s  in a Division 2 match. Kick off  is at 2:15 pm and the match sponsors are Messrs Adkin, Graham and Honnor.

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