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Beer Albion 1st’s 5-2 Feniton 1st’s

Beer Albion started the New Year in fine style with a comprehensive 5-2 win at home to local East Devon rivals Feniton on Saturday writes Richard Honnor.

In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 110, the Fishermen produced a sizzling 4-goal spell within the first 25 minutes which essentially sealed the result. Nonetheless Fenny made  a valiant attempt to get back into the match, clawing back 2 goals before Taylor Rooke’s late strike settled the Fishermen’s nerves. The visitors  remain at the foot of the table without a win this season but their spirited performance belied their lowly league position. 

Feniton made the brighter start and Beer had a couple of narrow escapes within the first 2 minutes. First, after a foray down the left, Fenny’s centre forward, struck a goal-bound shot from 12 yards but the ball took a lucky deflection off a Beer defender. The Fishermen survived again when a looping header from the resulting corner struck the cross bar.

These early scares were a wake-up call for the Fishermen who took the lead on 4 minutes. A defence-splitting pass from Finley Rooke sent Matt Berry clear down the right. The wing back’s early cross was deflected into the air and Beer striker Josh French was first to react to the looping ball and force it home from close range.

Seven minutes later Beer were 2-0 up when Taylor Rooke score his first goal after a “route one” move. A long free kick was nodded from the half way line on to Taylor Rooke on the right. Rooke still had plenty to do but  he advanced at pace into the box and slotted the ball home from an acute angle.

Feniton were foiled again when another  goal bound shot was deflected for a corner and then Beer desperately cleared off their goal line  after the corner flew  across the goal area. 

But  Beer increased their with a 3rd goal on 19 minutes. George Harwood tucked the ball home at the far post after a slick interchange between Berry and Taylor Rooke down the right side had torn the Fenny defence apart. 

The Fishermen went 4-0 ahead when Josh French scored his second  goal, a brilliant solo effort. Facing his own goal French held off a strong challenge on  the halfway line and set off on a run down inside right channel. Seeing the keeper out of position French curled the ball spectacularly inside the keeper’s near post from 25 yards out.

A complete rout appeared on the cards as Beer turned on the style with two further flowing moves but with 5 minutes remaining in the first half Fenny pegged the score back to 4-2 before half time courtesy of two well-executed free kicks. First on 40 minutes, a challenge from centre back George Richards was adjudged as a foul and the resulting 25 yard free kick was deflected home by Fenny’s Sellick.  Two minutes later fellow centre back Liam Cox was penalised on the edge of the 18 yard line and Fenny midfielder Ben Turner hit an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

After the thrills of the first half, the second half turned out to be a damp squib. It was a much more even contest with defences well on top. Beer keeper Elliot Driver made an important one-on-one save on 57 minutes to protect his side’s 2-goal cushion after a driving run and through ball by from Fenny’s left wing back had sliced open Beer’s defence. 

Then Richards and French went close for Beer with headers and the introduction of substitutes James Hill, Sam Walker and Barnaby Down gave the Fishermen a bit more impetus. In fact it was Down’s persistence that helped to create Beer’s 5th goal on 82 minutes. He and Taylor Rooke blocked attempted clearances from Fenny’s defence and the ball fell to Rooke who punished the visitors with a well-taken goal to seal the three points.

Match Sponsors the Harbour Beer Boys skittles team picked out several outstanding individual performances. For Feniton midfielder Jake Sellick had a fine game whilst, for Beer, Finley Rooke and George Richards shone, but man-of-match was striker Taylor Rooke who capped a powerful all-round performance with his 2 well-taken goals.

The victory moves Beer handily into third place, tucked behind Appledore and Exeter University and next Saturday they travel to Mount Gould 1st’s for their first ever league encounter with the Plymouth outfit.  The Fishermen will need to be at their best as Gould will be seeking revenge for their  cup final defeat at the hands of the Fishermen last season.

Meanwhile Beer 2nd’s kick-off the New Year with a Devon and Exeter Division 2 match at home to a Feniton 2nd’s. Kick off at the Furzebrake is at 2:15pm and the match sponsors  are Michael Graham,  Mike Adkin and Dave Abbott.

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