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Beer Albion 2nd’s 2-1 Otterton 1st’s 

In front of a home crowd of 60, Beer Albion 2nd’s produced another battling performance to maintain their 100% record  with a narrow 2-1 win against early league leaders Otterton in Joma Division 1 East writes Richard Honnor.  The highlight  was two magnificent  goals from former Aston Villa and Bristol Rovers striker Richard Walker which sealed plucky Otterton’s fate.

Weakened by the loss of 3 key players, Smith, Wilkins and Dack, all drafted into the 1st team squad, the Fishermen’s  performance was all the more creditable against very good opposition.

In a non-eventful first half, there was nothing to choose between the sides and very little goalmouth action.

Otterton did however have a great chance to go ahead on 35 minutes when a long through ball beat the offside trap but Beer keeper Mike Westlake made a fine save when the Otterton forward looked certain to score from 10 yards out.

The Fishermen responded with their best move of the half three minutes later. Richard Walker released Max Richardson down the right who pulled the ball back to Jacob Clode who shot narrowly wide from 12 yards.

Beer had a huge stroke of fortune immediately after half-time when Otterton struck the underside of the cross-bar on 48 minutes followed by  a desperate goal line clearance in the ensuing goalmouth melee.  From the resulting corner yet another clearance on the goal line kept the Fishermen in the contest.

Then on 55 minutes came the first of Walker’s goals. A fine cross from busy attacking midfielder Josh Lund found Walker 12 yards out and the striker hit an unstoppable first-time left footer Into the roof of the net. 

Otterton responded by taking the game to their opponents with sweeping moves down both flanks. The Fishermen’s midfield was getting overrun but their back line was unshakeable with outstanding performances from centre backs Jack Harwood and Reece Hales. 

But the pressure on the Fishermen was somewhat relieved when Walker controlled a teasing high through ball and turned three Otterton defenders before placing a low shot into the corner past the despairing dive of the Otterton glovesman to put Beer 2-0 ahead.

Otterton responded immediately on 80 minutes with an incisive move finished by Cameron Brown to pull back to 2-1. Two minutes later, Beer keeper Westlake  denied the visitors an equaliser with another fine save from point blank range. 

During the closing stages, the introduction of 16-year old Harry Lawrence gave a Beer a welcome outlet. His pace troubled the tiring Otterton defence and helped Beer see out the game and secure the three points.

In a game dominated by defences, Otterton’s centre back pairing of Simon Tuley and Michael Simpson played well but man of the match for the second game running was Beer centre back Jack Harwood.

Next Saturday, Beer 2nd’s will be hoping to maintain their 100% start when they travel to Clyst Valley.

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