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Cronies 4-2 Beer Albion 1st’s

Beer Albion were knocked out of the East Devon Senior Cup on Sunday losing 4-2 to a strong, experienced Cronies side. The match was played on the 3G pitch at Axminster because Cronies home ground at Topsham was unfit to play.

Cronies are unbeaten in Devon Senior cup competitions this year and they dominated the first 40 minutes with some excellent football. The Fishermen showed their opponents too much respect, time and space but somehow managed to keep the deficit down to just 2 goals which were scored in the 21st and 31st minutes respectively.

Then with just 2 minutes left before half time, Beer reduced the deficit to 2-1 with their first serious attack.  Midfielder Alex Hunt, under pressure from the Cronies keeper and centre-back, rose high to head home Finley Rooke’s well-executed free-kick. Rooke had just returned to the field after being harshly sin-binned on 32 minutes.

Uplifted by the goal the Fishermen took the game to their opponents after the break and for a time an equaliser looked on the cards. But on 58 minutes centre-back Joe Adkin received his marching orders for showing frustration after the referee failed to spot a cynical foul on co-defender Liam Cox.

Undaunted, however,  the Fishermen battled hard and almost equalised on 60 minutes when Chris Long’s clever flick from another quality Finley Rooke free kick was well saved by the Cronies keeper.

But Cronies increased their lead on 66 minutes when Beer were caught on the break after giving the ball away in midfield.

Despite being a man down managers Rooke and Potter decided to go with an attacking format and play without the spare man at the back. The makeshift centre-back pairing of Jay Catley and Liam Cox performed heroics against the talented Cronies frontmen.

Cronies were on the back foot and Beer deservedly reduced the deficit to 3-2 on 68 minutes when Tony Pinder’s shot was only partially stopped by the Cronies keeper and Taylor Rooke was on hand to nod in from close range.

But as the Fishermen continued to throw caution to the wind, the gaps inevitably started to appear and Cronies took advantage with a 4th goal on 78 minutes to seal their place into the quarter-finals.

Despite a slow start to this game, the Fishermen can be pleased with a fine 2nd half showing. Forward Taylor Rooke was the pick of the players with a stirring performance.

Next Saturday Beer 1st’s are back in Macron Premier Division action away at Lyme Regis. Beer 2nd’s meanwhile are at home. Kick-off is at 3pm at the Furzebrake and the match sponsorship is in memory of Robbie Driver.

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