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Beer Albion 3 - 0 Ottery St Mary 2nd’s

Beer Albion 1st’s still occupy third place in the Devon and Exeter Premier Division after a comfortable 3-0 home win against bottom-of-the-table Ottery St Mary 2nd’s writes Richard Honnor.

After the euphoria of Wednesday’s Devon Premier Cup semi-final victory against Exwick Villa, the Fishermen served up some excellent attacking football creating numerous chances. Had their finishing been more clinical, the scoreline could well have been in double figures.

Ottery put up a brave rearguard performance but apart from a bright spell after half time in which their talented no. 9 Riki Pitter was prominent, they failed to trouble Beer’s solid back line.

In contrast, Ottery’s defence was stretched throughout by the pace of the Fishermen’s front players, in particular Giles Basson who looked very sharp after missing a couple of games through suspension.

Beer piled on the pressure from the outset and were denied by the woodwork in the opening minute when George Harwood’s teasing free kick was headed against his own crossbar by an Ottery defender. But the Fishermen were ahead 6 minutes later after keeper Elliot Driver’s long clearance was seized upon by Giles Basson. The Beer wing man cutting in from the left past two Otter challenges unleashed a fine strike from 12 yards into the far right corner.

Live wire Basson was a constant threat and on 25 minutes he doubled Beer’s lead when he beat the defensive wall with a low free kick from 20 yards after Alex Paget had been brought down on the edge of the penalty area.

Beer continued to create chances with centre-back Charley Ledger going closest when his header from 6 yards missed the target after another excellent George Harwood free kick.

After creating two early chances , Beer became a trifle complacent in the second half and Ottery briefly threatened to get back into the contest going close with a fierce shot just over Driver’s crossbar.

But the chances continued thick and fast for Beer with substitute Jake Hale, Tony Pinder and Basson regularly carving their way through but just failing to find that quality finish.

On 60 minutes Basson was brought down in the box after winning a long clearance from Driver, but he fired the spot kick over the bar. Ottery responded immediately and Driver had to make a his first real save from close range after the Beer’s defence was opened up by a quick counter attack.

As the game went into the final period, Beer midfielder Alex Paget had several chances to get on the scoresheet, twice being denied by the woodwork after soaring above the Ottery defence at the far post. But Paget’s endeavour was eventually rewarded on 82 minutes when he slid home Basson’s cross from the right to seal the 3-0 win.

This was a another fine team effort with solid performances across the park. Charley Ledger and skipper Chris Long both played well but Justin Adkin on behalf of sponsor SeaSabre Ltd awarded man-of-the-match to two-goal Basson.

Fielding a weakened side due to calls on players from their 1st team, Beer Albion 2nd’s lost 2-1 at Newton St Cyres. The Fishermen’s Reserves were extremely unlucky not to get a point with the home side scoring a late winner.

Manager Jamie Bond was proud of his team’s performance. He said, “I’m gutted for the lads. We had 3 players called up to the 1st’s so we had to play a few that are short of match fitness and game time but the pleasing thing is we still had 14 lads willing to play. The boys were outstanding across the park and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Beer went behind after 10 minutes. They equalised on 65 minutes through a Simon Smith free kick only to be denied by St Cyres 87th minute winner. Makeshift strike pair Ollie Paget and Harry Lawrence worked tirelessly throughout and keeper Shaun Denslow made a fine penalty save on 80 minutes.

Next Saturday, Beer 1sts travel to Elmore 2nd’s for a tricky league encounter. Beer 2nd’s are without a fixture.

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