Beer Albion 2nd 2 - 1 University of Exeter 4th
In front of a crowd of 65 supporters, Beer Albion 2nd’s held on to top spot in Devon and Exeter Division 2 coming from behind to beat Exeter University 4th’s 2-1 in a gripping contest. It was a gritty, determined performance from the Fishermen’s Reserves against a talented side who have been in fine form recently with wins against strong opposition.
From the start, Beer were at full stretch trying to cope with the movement and pace of University’s forwards. On 9 minutes, they had a lucky escape when a shot went just over the bar with the home keeper Martin Hill off his line.
But they were unable to prevent the visitors taking a 1-0 lead on 20 minutes. A pass was threaded inside the Beer defence and the resulting cross from the right found the Uni striker Godding who was able to slide the ball home under the advancing Hill’s body.
Gradually, Beer began to contain Uni’s lively forwards and create one or opportunities for themselves. The Fishermen were unlucky when a strong penalty shout was turned down before the break.
But the first half was really about staying in touch, and the calmness and experience of veterans Alex Paget and Simon Smith proved invaluable at this stage. That said, the work rate of the whole team was impressive.
After the break, Beer got much tighter and were getting more of the possession in midfield. It was now the Uni defence under pressure and increasingly Tom Perry’s pace and Reece Best’s driving runs were causing them problems.
But Uni were still dangerous on the counter and Beer keeper Hill kept his side in the game with two fine saves, first with his legs from just 10 yards out and then at full stretch to hold on to a well struck free kick destined for the bottom right corner.
With 20 minutes remaining, Beer were finishing the stronger and after 3 corners in quick succession, they deservedly equalised on 73 minutes. A long throw was only partially cleared and Reece Best’s shot from an acute angle took a deflection and squeezed inside the near post.
Just one minute later, the Fishermen were denied the lead when Paget’s 18-yard looping effort was tipped onto the crossbar. Then came the winner on 81 minutes. After a strong run, Perry was brought down by the Uni keeper in the box and up stepped Best to score his 2nd with a perfectly executed spot-kick.
In the end the Fishermen deserved to win an excellent contest. Consistent right wing back Jamie Walker was Beer’s outstanding player but sponsor Clinton Estates awarded overall man-of-the-match to Uni’s star forward, Gianluca Capuano.
Beer Albion 1st’s cruised into the 4th round of the Throgmorton Devon Premier Cup, winning 6-3 away at Devon Football League outfit Watcombe Wanderers 1st’s . It was the Fishermen’s 8th successive win. The scoreline could have been much greater against a side that play at one level above them in the FA structure, but the Fishermen squandered several good chances. The Fishermen led 2-1 at half time with goals from Tony Pinder and Chris Long and then sailed into a 5-1 lead after the break through Basson, a great free kick from George Harwood and a 2nd goal from Pinder. Manager Mark Rooke wisely used the opportunity to provide his substitutes with good spells of game-time and although Watcombe rallied to 5-3, a second goal from skipper Chris Long sealed the 6-3 win. “ I am really enjoying my new role as defensive midfielder”, said Long after the game. “But with fellow midfielder Charley Skilton always on hand to provide cover, this enables me to drive forward as well, and, hopefully, contribute a fair share of goals for the team”.
Next Saturday Beer 1st’s face a huge challenge when they take on unbeaten Lapford in a Premier Division top-of-the-table clash. Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 2:15pm and the match sponsor is East Devon Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.
Beer 2nd’s also have a tough Division 2 test away at 3rd placed Alphington 3rd’s.