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  • Writer's picturepaul88798

Beer Albion 1st’s 2-4 Axminster 2nd’s

In front of a crowd of 120, Beer Albion 1st’s hopes of a top three finish in Devon and Exeter Premier suffered a blow when they lost 4-2 at home to local rivals Axminster 2nd’s on Saturday writes Richard Honnor.

With their Peninsula league game against Brixham postponed, the Tigers were strengthened by the inclusion of 4 players from their 1st team. Nonetheless, the Fishermen were marginally the better side in open play and were unlucky not to get some reward for their hard-working performance. In the end the difference boiled down to a couple of clinical finishes from the visitors.

As one would expect in a local derby, the match was competitive from the outset and Referee Paul Owens had to deal with a number of heated exchanges including two sendings-off and other bookings for late tackles and retaliations.

The Fishermen started well and but failed to capitalise on a couple of great crosses from Keiren Daniels on 20 and 24 minutes. But the home side suffered a major setback when forward Giles Basson who had been the target of some rough treatment early on, lost his composure and was dismissed on 27 minutes. Although they were down to 10 men, the Fishermen continued to shade the contest but could not make the final ball tell.

Neither keeper was tested until Beer’s Elliot Driver made a flying save on 42 minutes to tip a goalbound shot around the post for a corner. Then, one minute into stoppage time, Axminster took the lead when an 18-yard strike from Aaron Daniels which appeared to be going wide took a wicked deflection off defender Liam Cox, giving keeper Driver no chance.

After the break, Beer had a close call on 48 minutes when Joe Adkin cleared off the line from Axminster’s no. 9. Three minutes later the Tigers were themselves reduced to 10 men when their midfielder received his marching orders after a late tackle.

Beer finally tested the Axminster keeper on 54 minutes when, at full stretch, he tipped Keiren Daniels’ wicked inswinging corner on to the crossbar. But against the run of play, the Fishermen went 2-0 down on 61 minutes when a right-wing corner was converted on the half-volley from 8 yards by Scott Wells-Burr.

Undeterred, Beer drove forward and Axminster’s keeper was twice forced into action before the Fishermen got their just rewards on 66 minutes. A low free kick from Daniels was scrambled off his line by the Axminster keeper but Finley Rooke hooked the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.

One minute later, Axminster again had their keeper to thank after he made a point-blank save after another desperate goalmouth scramble. But Beer were now piling on the pressure and equalised on 69 minutes when a 25-yard free kick from Chris Long was deflected high in the air by Brooklyn Wilkins. The keeper desperately palmed the looping ball away from under the crossbar but was unable to prevent Charley Ledger forcing it over the line.

The game now appeared to be the Fishermen’s for the taking. But they momentarily lost concentration on 74 minutes and were punished by Lewis Waldy’s shot into an open goal after Driver came off his line but failed to collect a ball that held up in the wind.

This was a real body-blow after the Fishermen had fought back so well, and the Tigers sealed the result on 82 minutes with an excellent solo effort from Aaron Daniels who was voted man-of-the-match by sponsor Barrel O’ Beer.

For the Fishermen, Charley Ledger and Kieren Daniels caught the eye in what was a good team effort. With a bit more fortune, their performance would have earned some reward.

Next Saturday, Beer 2nd’s are back in action at the Furzebrake with a Division 2 match against Dunkeswell Rovers 1st’s. Kick off is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Steve Bond.

Meanwhile Beer 1st’s travel to Dawlish Utd for a Premier Division match.

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