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Beer go through on penalties 10-9

Devon Premier Cup

Beer Albion 1st’s 3-3 Lapford at full time

Beer go through on penalties 10-9

In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 100, Beer Albion 1st’s booked their passage into the semi-finals of the Devon Premier Cup with a dramatic victory over their Devon and Exeter League rivals, Lapford, writes Richard Honnor. With the scores level at 3-3 on 90 minutes, the game was decided by penalties and the Fishermen held their nerve to clinch the shoot-out 10-9 and bring Lapford’s 18-month unbeaten run to an end.

Beer were, by some margin, the better side on the day and had several good opportunities to seal the victory in normal time. But Lapford are a tough nut to crack and even when trailing 3-2 with two minutes of injury time left, the visitors took the tie into penalties with a late equaliser. The match was a credit to local football and, although highly competitive, it was played in a great spirit and well refereed by Paul Owens.

The Fishermen showed their attacking intentions from the outset and with just 1 minute played, Giles Basson was brought down in the penalty box after going past two defenders. Refereee Owens pointed unhesitatingly to the spot but Lapford keeper Matt Parsell denied Beer the lead, saving Charley Skilton’s penalty at full stretch.

Beer stand-in keeper, Taylor Rooke, was tested early on, tipping a header over the bar and then cleanly catching a 20-yard shot. Rooke displayed good handling and excellent composure under pressure from Lapford’s big players throughout the match.

The Fishermen were dominating the early play with some fine attacking football. Up front, the pace of Tony Pinder and Giles Basson was troubling the Lapford defence. In defence, Beer looked solid with the centre back trio of Joe Adkin, Charley Ledger and Jack Harwood working well as a unit. And with a combination of skill and power in midfield and pace shown from the wing-backs, Manager Rooke had struck the perfect balance to cope with their high- flying opponents.

Nonetheless, it was Lapford who took the lead against the run of play on 37 minutes. Burrow latched on to a through ball and resisted a couple of challenges to slot home past Rooke. The Lapford striker seemed to have controlled the ball with his hand but the referee was blind-sided.

Undaunted, Beer drove forward and equalised two minutes after the restart. Winning a challenge in midfield, Basson went past one player and threaded a pass through for Skilton to run onto, and the midfielder placed the ball into the far corner past the advancing Parsell.

The Fishermen were well in command at this stage and created good chances to go in front but Parsell blocked Paget’s effort and then Ledger’s screaming 25 yarder went narrowly wide. But Lapford absorbed the pressure and took a 2-1 lead when on 64 minutes Burrow scored his second after going unchallenged past 2 defenders.

Manager Rooke then adopted a more attacking formation and the change paid off on 75 minutes when Alex Paget headed home Kieron Daniels’ inswinging corner. It was just reward for Paget who dominated the aerial battles in midfield but finished the game with blood flowing from a nasty head injury for his efforts.

Two minutes later Beer went 3-2 ahead when Daniels won the chase for a ball down the touch line and he squared across the 6-yard box for Tony Pinder to side foot home from close range.

Beer then squandered two great chances to seal the result before Lapford’s late equaliser which was bundled in from close range by Tucker after a looping ball beyond the far post was headed back across goal.

In the ensuing shoot out, scores remained level right until the death when Parsell, Lapford’s 11th penalty taker, hit the cross bar to hand Beer a dramatic victory.

Sponsor Beer Boats selected midfielder Josh Phillips as Lapford’s best player but man-of-the-match deservedly went to Beer’s Jack Harwood.

Next Saturday Beer 1st’s are back in league action with a home match against Okehampton Argyle 2nd’s. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm and the match sponsor is Annings Heating and Plumbing Engineers Ltd.

Devon and Exeter Division 2

University of Exeter 4th’s 3-1 Beer Albion 2nd’s

Missing a number of key players and with several of those on the pitch short of full fitness, Beer Albion Reserves were beaten 3-1 away at University 4th’s. They still maintain 2nd spot in Devon and Exeter Division 2 but Uni are just below them with two games in hand.

After conceding a soft goal on 2 minutes, the Fishermen competed well but failed to put away some good chances which might have given them a share of the spoils.

Beer conceded a 2nd goal on 65 minutes, being caught on the break whilst pressing hard for an equaliser. Uni increased their lead to 3-0, 10 minutes later before Brandon Hopkins scored an 80th minute consolation for the Fishermen.

Beer’s outstanding player was in-form centre back Fraser Beament. Next Saturday Beer Reserves travel to Chagford, hoping to get back to winning ways.

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