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Beer Albion 3 - 0 Ottery St Mary

In front of a home crowd of 90, Beer Albion 1st’s maintained their 4-point lead at the top of Devon Football League NE Division with a comfortable 3-0 win over Ottery St Mary 1st’s writes Richard Honnor.

Although not at their best, the Fishermen still had too much fire power for the Otters whose chances of getting anything out of this game were dealt a huge blow when their left back Tony Cox received his marching orders with just 24 minutes gone.

Beer started very strongly and went 1-0 ahead on 10 minutes through a very well-worked goal from the left. Giles Basson’s lay-off created a chance for Taylor Rooke 15 yards out. The Ottery keeper could only parry Rooke’s low shot and Basson, following in, scored from close range.

On 21 minutes Ottery’s Cox received a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Taylor Rooke on half-way. Three minutes later Cox was dismissed by referee Hawkins after a 2nd yellow for bringing down Taylor Rooke again, this time in the penalty area. But Tony Pinder, unusually for him, missed the target with the spot-kick.

The home side dominated possession until half-time but some determined Ottery defending denied the Fishermen until 2 minutes before the break when Taylor Rooke coolly finished Alex Paget’s headed flick-on. Rooke caused the visiting defence problems all game and fully deserved the goal for his outstanding centre-forward play.

After the break, with Finley Rooke controlling the midfield, Beer continued to dominate possession. They retained the ball better than they had in the first half when they were guilty of hitting too many ambitious long passes.

Ottery’s main attacking threat came from no. 9 Connor Swingler who had tested keeper Elliot Driver from distance in the first half and went close with a free kick after half time.

But unsurprisingly Beer went 3-0 ahead when they were awarded a penalty on 67 minutes. With the Otters keeper stranded out of his goal, wing back Will House’s shot was handled in the penalty area and Finley Rooke blasted home the spot-kick to seal the victory.

Match sponsor Simon Bartlett of Beer Boats picked out Connor Swingler as Ottery’s best player and gave “man-of-the match” to Charley Ledger for a solid performance at the heart of Beer’s defence.

A slow start cost Beer Albion Reserves any chance of 3 points on Saturday going down 4-2 to Chard Town Res writes Sam Phillips.

Matches at Chard are always difficult due to the sloping pitch and poor playing surface. The home side took advantage and were 3-0 ahead after 22 minutes thanks to two own goals and some lax Beer defending.

After the break, Beer had the advantage of the slope and they took control of the game. Some early chances to reduce the arrears were spurned by the Fishermen but they eventually pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute through a fine solo effort from Harry Lawrence.

The Fishermen pulled another goal back 10 minutes later when Reece Best headed in from a corner but the dogged Chard defence somehow survived as the Fishermen pushed hard for the equaliser.

With the game entering the final 5 minutes Beer threw everyone forward but were caught by a Chard goal on the break to seal the 4-2 win for for the home side.

Beer showed real fighting sprit in the 2nd half but that sloppy start cost them the game. Special mention goes to the Fishermen’s debutant 16-year-old goalkeeper Leo Gribble. The youngster showed great confidence in challenging conditions in his first appearance in men’s football.

Next Saturday Beer travel to Ottery for the reverse league fixture. Meanwhile, Beer 2nd’s have a home league contest against Wellington 2nd’s. Kick off at the Furzebrake is is at 3pm and the match day sponsor is Beer Fisheries.

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