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Colyton 1st’s 1-2 Beer Albion 1st’s

Beer Albion 1st’s remain top of the Devon and Exeter Premier Division after winning 2-1 at Colyton in this hard-fought East Devon derby writes Richard Honnor. Last week, the Fishermen had overwhelmed Colyton 6-0 on home turf but there was little to choose between the two sides on this occasion.

The match was settled by a 77th minute penalty after Giles Basson’s determined run into the box was halted by a mistimed tackle. Up stepped, centre back, Liam Cox to coolly slot the penalty home and secure the three points for the Fishermen.

The pattern of play was established from the first whistle. Colyton played long passes trying to get behind the Beer defence whilst the Fishermen relied on fast counter attacks. Both sides were having early success with their tactics with Beer keeper Elliott Driver twice being tested by shots from distance and then Beer’s Charley Skilton hitting the crossbar from 20 yards after a swift break by Giles Basson.

The irrepressible Basson was himself denied by Colyton keeper Sam Riley’s outstretched palm after a surging run and shot from close range. Basson had a fine match and was a constant threat to the home defence.

Beer went 1-0 ahead on 15 minutes through midfielder Brooklyn Wilkins who was at hand to toe-poke the ball home from 8 yards after another swift counter down the left flank.

Beer somehow survived on 22 minutes when they failed to deal with a free kick from edge of the penalty box. First Liam Fox cleared a looping header off the line and in the melee that followed, Driver made a tremendous stop from two yards out to prevent the equaliser.

Both sides continued to create opportunities but great blocks from Colyton’s defenders from goalbound efforts by Tony Pinder on 32 minutes and then Wilkins on 39 minutes denied Beer adding to their lead.

However Colyton grabbed the equaliser just before half time when Callum Somers was presented with a gift 8 yards out after Beer’s defence failed to deal with an awkwardly bouncing cross into the box.

There was more urgency about Beer’s play early into the second half but whereas the Fishermen had created the better chances before the break, it was Colyton who had the more clear-cut opportunities thereafter. Somers had a great chance on 69 minutes after the home side had sliced through the Beer defence but he narrowly missed the target from close range.

It was a bruising encounter throughout and Beer’s Wilkins and Tony Pinder were forced to retire early with injuries. Wilkins had an excellent match and Pinder had worked as hard as ever.

After Cox’s decisive penalty, Beer were reduced to 10-men when keeper Driver was sent off after receiving a 2nd yellow card for retaliation. He had already been shown a yellow in the 1st half for a similar offence. His team mates were left to negotiate a tricky final 10 minutes but they held on determinedly to secure the win.

Back at the Furzebrake, Beer Albion 2nd’s remain top of Division 2 after a convincing 4-1 win against Clyst Valley 2nd’s. Goals from Thomas Perry(2), Max Richardson and Barnaby Down sealed the 3 points. It was Down’s first goal for the club and well-deserved after a hard-working performance.

Managers Bond and Driver were delighted with another superb showing but warned against complacency with big games coming up against their closest league rivals. Sponsor John Wheeler awarded Man-of-the-Match to Perry and Harry Lawrence and Alex Paget were also in top form for the Fishermen.

Sponsor John Wheeler Ltd awarded Man-of-the-Match to Thomas Perry.

Next Saturday, Beer 1st’s entertain Dawlish United in a league game. Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 3pm and the match sponsor is MGR Roofing. Meanwhile in Division 2, Beer 2nd’s travel to Exmouth Spartans.

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