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Beer Albion 1st’s 4-1 Budleigh Salterton 1st’s

Showing no signs of “ring rust” after a 5 week lay-off, Devon League Leaders Beer Albion maintained their 100% record with their best performance of the season to overcome second-in-the-table Budleigh Salterton by an impressive 4-1 margin writes Richard Honnor.


In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 150, these two well-matched sides produced a thrilling match full of attacking football. Thanks to two clinically executed set-pieces the Fishermen held a slender 2-1 at half time. After the break Beer produced a near perfect display to contain the Robins’ free scoring forward line and wear down their tiring defence with some fine passing football, resulting in two further goals of real quality to put the result beyond doubt.


After surviving an early scare when they conceded a free kick inches outside the penalty area, Beer went 1-0 ahead on 7 minutes. Josh French who was looking really sharp up front was brought down just outside the box and up stepped Giles Basson to evade the defensive wall with a perfectly executed free kick low inside the left corner.

Budleigh responded strongly and their forward line led by Jack Hocking put the Fishermen’s defence under pressure for a while. A strong run by the Robins’ no. 8 resulted in a good effort from 18 yards which keeper Elliot Driver saved well at full stretch.

But Beer’s forwards and midfielders were proving a real handful for Budleigh’s defence who were repeatedly forced to concede free kicks in desperate efforts to stop them driving forward.

On 17 minutes the Fishermen went 2-0 ahead, once again from a set piece after midfielder Jake Rowe was brought down just outside the box. This time Basson floated a teasing cross to the far post for French to slide the ball back across the goal into the path of Tony Pinder who finished well from close range.

But sloppy defensive play allowed Budleigh back into the game on the 24th minute. Beer failed to deal with a long ball down the middle and Charlie Skinner forced the ball home past Driver, coming off his line, to make the score 2-1.


The Fishermen responded with a sustained period of pressure up until half time. Jake Rowe was pulling the strings in midfield and French and Pinder had good efforts denied by desperate defending. But the outcome of this game was still difficult to call as the half-time whistle blew.


After the break, Beer began to get the upper hand and created more chances. Budleigh’s defence somehow survived with some desperate blocks and fine goalkeeping to deny the Fishermen. The Robins were now relying on counter attacks and were getting some success from balls long balls out to the left where they were being given too much space on occasions. Driver needed to be alert a couple of times to deny the visitors.

The Robins’ defence was finally unlocked on 61 minutes by a goal of real quality. A swift interchange of passes between French and Rowe created the opening and Rowe confidently stroked the ball home with the outside of his foot from 8 yards.

The result was put beyond doubt on 70 minutes by another magnificent goal from a swift counter started and finished by Josh French. French broke from midfield and released a ball for Tony Pinder to chase down the right. The Budleigh defender appeared to get their first but he slipped under pressure from Pinder who then pulled an inch-perfect ball back from the by line for French to slam home from 6 yards.

This was another outstanding team display with fine performances from every Beer player. Match sponsor Practical Car and Van Rental Hire at Musbury Garage singled out midfielder Jake Rowe as man-of-the-match. Budleigh’s best player was centre forward Jack Hocking.


Beer currently lead the North and East Division by six points but have some tough fixtures over the forthcoming weeks starting next week with a home game against Exeter University 1st’s. The Fishermen have already beaten the Students twice this season in the league and Devon Premier Cup respectively. Both games were close affairs and next Saturday’s game will be no different against the 21/22 champions. Match sponsors for next week’s game are Peter Adkin and Richard Honnor. Kick off 2:15pm.

Beer Albion 2nds will be hoping to get back to winning ways next Saturday when they visit Wellington 2nds in Devon and Exeter Division 1.

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