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Beer Albion 1sts 3-2 Newtown 1st’s

Beer Albion got back to winning ways in the Devon Football League on Saturday with an excellent 3-2 win against Newtown writes Richard Honnor. The 75 supporters who braved the atrocious wet weather were treated to a thrilling match served up by two fine sides.

The Fishermen got off to the perfect start when in the 3rd minute Tony Pinder fired home a spectacular goal from 25 yards after George Richards’ through ball caught the Newtown defence cold.

Beer played excellent attacking football for the first 15 minutes with front men Josh French and Pinder combining well and Charley Skilton prominent in midfield. They were stretching their opponents with some quick movement and sharp passing. But the incessant, torrential rain seem to favour the away side who began to boss the midfield and stretch the Beer defence with some driving runs down the right flank.

The Fishermen had a couple of close calls when Newtown hit the woodwork on 23 minutes and then narrowly missed the target on 31 minutes before equalising on 36 minutes after another incisive move down the right.

Pinder went close to restoring Beer’s lead before the break when his close-range header hit the post and behind for a corner.

After the break, with Finley Rooke pushing up into midfield, Beer began to master the slippery conditions and get more possession. They went 2-1 ahead on 59 minutes when Rooke himself powered home a header from a perfectly executed Skilton corner.

It was now Beer’s turn to probe Newtown’s defence down the right flank. Wing back Matt Berry missed the target on 52 minutes after a searing run but made amends on 63 minutes when he ran on to a perfect through ball from Josh French. The keeper made a fine save but Berry coolly placed home the rebound.

There were thrills and spills as the conditions deteriorated. The slippery ball tested the handling of Beer keeper Charlie Ledger on several occasions but he came through with flying colours.

With Beer seemingly having the job done, a late penalty for hand ball conceded by Liam Cox as he slipped over gave Newtown a glimmer of hope but the Fishermen saw the game out to earn a deserved 3-2 victory.

Fishermen’s defender George Richards had an exemplary match but was narrowly pipped by goalscorer Tony Pinder for sponsor Norman Lambert’s man-of-the-match selection. Pinder worked tirelessly for the team and was a constant threat up front.

Next Saturday Beer 1st’s are in Devon Premier Cup 3rd Round action with a long trip to Plymouth-based Morley Rangers. There is no home game at the Furzebrake.

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