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  • Writer's picturepaul88798

Beer Albion 1st’s 4-2 Mount Gold 1st’s

Devon Football League North and East Champions Beer Albion completed “the double” when they defeated previously unbeaten S&W Champions Mount Gold 4-2 in the League Cup final at Barnstaple on Saturday writes Richard Honnor. In a thrilling incident-packed match, watched by a large crowd including 80 travelling Beer spectators, the Fishermen overturned a 2-0 half time deficit to win the final with a superb 2nd half performance.

After a nervy first 10 minutes, Beer showed some early promise. The twin spearhead of Taylor Rooke and Josh French was working well and Rooke came close with an 11th minute shot across goal. Then on 14 minutes Tony Pinder forced a save out of the keeper with a well-executed overhead kick. Mount Gold posted a threat when a near post header from a driven-in corner went narrowly wide on 20 minutes.

Then things turned sour for the Fishermen. They were reduced to 10 men after Brooklyn Wilkins was sin-binned on 21 minutes for protesting to the referee after an apparent foul on him went unpunished. Mount Gold took advantage of this by going ahead one minute later. A perfectly placed strike from Chris Wright found the top corner.

It got worse for Beer when they were reduced to 9 men on 26 minutes after Tony Pinder was shown a red card for a late challenge. There was no disputing the foul but a straight red for the offence was harsh and ugly player scenes after the incident seemed to influence the referee’s decision.

Once again Mount Gold took full advantage with a sweet 27th minute strike from Danny Brooke rippling the corner of Elliot Driver’s goal.

When Wilkins returned to the fray, Beer regained some of their composure and Jake Rowe and Finley Rooke began to find space to build from midfield. Beer were largely unruffled by some cynical play to stop them until the game flared up on 43 minutes when Rowe was pulled back by his hair. The offender Chris Wright was dismissed for the offence after the referee consulted his linesman.

It was now 10 against 10 and after the break manager Mark Rooke with a strong array of substitutes at his disposal brought wing back Cody Bowditch and forward Giles Basson into the fray. Both players made a big difference to the game.

The Fishermen did have to cope with some early pressure as Mount Gold created 2 early chances after the break and on 57 minutes a goal seemed certain until a well-placed header was dramatically cleared off the line. But some resolute defending with Liam Cox and Charley Skilton prominent kept Beer in the contest.

As the game went into the last 30 minutes, Beer looked much the fitter side and as Mount Gold began to tire the spaces began to open up for the Fishermen to exploit.

On 60 minutes the balance of the game changed dramatically. Cody Bowditch was allowed to drive forward from deep and unleashed a superb strike from 25 yards which the Mount Gold keeper could only parry. The ball broke loose to Finley Rooke who fired home via the underside of the crossbar to make the score 2-1. Beer were now back in the contest.

On 67 minutes it was 2-2. A great run from Rowe and a through pass put Taylor Rooke through. Rooke’s strength enable him to shrug off two challenges and he rounded the keeper to slide the ball home.

Now completely in the ascendancy, it took just another 7 minutes for the Fishermen to take the lead. Again Bowditch was involved with a fine fee kick which Mount Gold were unable to deal with. Giles Basson nipped into to win the second ball and score from an acute angle.

But Beer were not finished yet. They completed the turnaround when Taylor Rooke fired home his 2nd goal following a sweet interchange of passes between him and Basson.

In a team full of heroic performances, the man-of-the-match award went to centre back Liam Cox who has been so consistent for Beer this season.

The victory rounded off a truly magnificent year for Beer Albion Football Club. To win the Devon Premier Cup last May, then get promoted to the Devon Football league and then to win the DFL league and cup double at the first attempt ranks as probably the greatest achievement in the Club’s long and successful history.

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