Beer Albion 1st’s 3-0 Sidmouth Town 2nd’s
In front of a home crowd of 110 spectators, Beer Albion 1st’s secured their third league victory of the season winning 3-0 against Sidmouth Town 2nd’s in this Devon and Exeter Premier Division encounter writes RIchard Honnor. Although the 3-goal margin suggests that this was a comfortable win, the Vikings were well in contention up until the 75th minute when two late goals sealed the points for the Fishermen.
Beer made the perfect start, taking the lead after only 3 minutes. Josh French got behind the Sidmouth defence down the right and pulled the ball back for Reece Best to hit the ball home first time from 7 yards out.
The Fishermen totally dominated the play for the next 20 minutes but could not convert their superiority into more goals. Chances came and went, with Giles Basson shooting straight at the keeper on 13 minutes and Best volleying just over the bar on 16 minutes.
Beer, playing with a flat backline, were vulnerable to the counter and were let off the hook on 22 minutes when the Sidmouth striker missed the target after being clean through one-on-one with keeper Elliot Driver.
The same pattern of play continued throughout the game with the Fishermen’s young side dominating possession and attacking with energy and pace and the Vikings soaking up the pressure and relying on counter attacks to catch Beer’s defence square.
The chances for Beer came thick and fast as halftime approached. Best and Charlie Ledger went close with headers. Then Basson was foiled by a goalmouth clearance after beating the Sidmouth keeper and French blasted over from close range. At the other end Ledger, who was dominant in the air for the whole match, headed clear two dangerous crosses swung deep into Beer’s 6-yard box.
Sidmouth had their best spell of play after the interval and were unfortunate not to equalise on 54 minutes when a free-kick from 25 yards hit the Beer upright with Driver looking helplessly on. One minute later after another incisive Sidmouth counter, a header from a left-wing cross went narrowly wide.
The contest was much more even now and instead of playing possession through the middle of the park, Beer were attempting ambitious long passes and gave the ball away unnecessarily. Sidmouth were creating more opportunities and tested Driver on several occasions but the Beer keeper was in fine form throughout making some fine saves and commanding his area.
The Fishermen came back strongly in the last 30 minutes and at last played the kind of incisive short passing football of which they are capable. Brook Wilkins and substitute Chris Long and Taylor Rooke all went close after flowing moves. The Sidmouth defence were finally wilting under the pressure and they conceded a penalty when Basson was brought down after a fine run. Rooke slotted home a perfect spot-kick.
Then on 89 minutes Beer produced the best move of the game to score the third goal. They sliced through the Sidmouth rearguard with four clinical passes and Tony Pinder provided an inch-perfect through ball for the French to coolly convert from 10 yards.
Outstanding for Beer were frontman Josh French and defender Charlie Ledger whilst for Sidmouth defender Jack Howe excelled. But man-of-the-match was awarded by sponsors The Chapple Family to Beer keeper Elliot Driver for another impeccable performance between the posts.
Next Saturday, Beer 1st’s have a league match away at Ottery St Mary 2nd’s. Beer 2nd’s are back in action at home to Chagford in a Division 2 encounter. Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 3pm and the match is sponsored by Pecorama.