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Beer Albion 1st’s 3-1 Thorverton

After going down to a shock 2- 1 defeat at the hands of Ottery St Mary 1sts in midweek, Beer Albion bounced back with a convincing 3-1 home victory against Thorverton last Saturday. In front of 110 supporters, the Fishermen served up a feast of high-intensity, attacking football writes Richard Honnor.

But it was Thorverton, who made the early running, testing Beer’s defence with some brisk direct football. Within the first 6 minutes keeper Charlie Ledger was called into action twice, first when he saved a well-struck 18-yard shot from their talented no 11, Josh Hole, who had cut through the Beer defence. Then Ledger made a fine save at full stretch, tipping a teasing 15-yard overhead kick over the bar after Beer had only partially cleared a corner kick.

Gradually Beer’s midfield trio of Jake Rowe, Finley Rooke and Charley Skilton began to take charge and with Cody Bowditch playing in a more advanced left side midfield role they began to create good chances. On 14 minutes, right wing back Joe Adkin narrowly missed the target from 15 yards after Skilton and Bowditch combined well on the left to create the opportunity. One minute later, Rowe and Brook Wilkins swept down the right wing to present Josh French with a difficult near post opportunity which went wide.

Forward players French and Wilkins were proving a handful and although the playing squad was weakened by unavailability, the starting line-up selected by manager Mark Rooke blended really well as a team.

After sustained pressure, the Fishermen went ahead on 21 minutes with a well-worked free kick. Rowe was brought down outside the penalty box after an incisive run. With the visitors’ defence expecting a shot on goal, Bowditch cleverly “dinked” the ball wide to Finley Rooke who cut inside the defender and his low strike was deflected past the Thors keeper at the near post.

Beer continued to pile on the pressure with Wilkins and Rooke going close and then French “scored” with a powerful strike but was ruled offside. Thorverton’s keeper made a couple of good saves but he could do little about Beer’s 2nd goal on 42 minutes. Again Bowditch provided the assist, getting behind the visitors defence down the left and squaring across the goal into the path of Skilton who scored from 10 yards out.

After the break Beer continued in the same vein with Wilkins and then Rowe foiled by fine saves by the visitors keeper early on.

Wilkins in particular was finding space and making good runs down the right and it was he who put Beer 3-0 ahead with a spectacular goal on 54 minutes. Squeezing between two defenders Wilkins was first to reach a through pass from Bowditch and then he expertly chipped the keeper who was off his line from 25 yards out.

Beer continued to dominate the contest but, throughout the game, Thorverton’s forward line always looked dangerous going forward. They were duly rewarded with a consolation in the 80th minute, an unstoppable free kick from wide left, 25 yards out, scored by Hole who was their outstanding player on the day.

This was essentially a fine team performance from the Fishermen with centre back George Richards in dominating form at the back but on behalf of match sponsors, the Chapple family-Beer Beach, Brooklyn Wilkins got the man-of-the-match award for his attacking forays and excellent goal.

Next up, Beer 1sts’s are in action on Wednesday away at Budleigh Salterton and then they travel to Elmore next Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Fishermen’s 2nds start their Devon and Exeter Division 2 campaign with a home game against Tipton St John 1st’s. Kick off is at 3 pm and the match sponsor is Fred Hansford Flooring Ltd.

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