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Fremington 1-1 Beer Albion

It was a disappointing day for DFL league leaders Beer Albion 1st’s who were held to a 1-1 draw away at bottom-placed Fremington on Saturday writes Richard Honnor.

The Fishermen’s cause was not helped when they were reduced to 10 men after Elliott Driver got his marching orders on 28 minutes for a late challenge 10 yards outside his penalty area. The referee adjudged Driver to be the “last man”. Centre back Charlie Ledger took over the goalkeeper’s jersey and gave an assured display.

Beer were quickly out of the blocks and could have been well ahead before Driver’s dismissal. Both Josh French and Brooklyn Wilkins tested the Fremington keeper and then Tony Pinder and French both narrowly missed the target with fierce efforts

But after the Fishermen were reduced to 10 men, Fremington began to exploit the extra space and delivered some good crosses into the box which the visitors were at full stretch to deal with.

Beer suffered another hammer blow on 42 minutes when in-form centre forward Josh French was forced off with a pulled hamstring. Kyle Gould worked diligently as French’s replacement.

As if French’s loss wasn’t enough, Fremington took the lead just before the break when a good low strike into the corner gave Ledger no chance.

After the break the Fishermen showed much more purpose. They opened up the home defence with the best move of the match on 50 minutes but could not find the finishing touch. Then they thought that they had equalised on 57 minutes from Alex Paget’s header but the big midfielder was adjudged narrowly offside.

Beer continued to drive forward but the final ball would just not fall in their favour. In fairness, Fremington’s centre backs defended their lines heroically.

As the game wore on, the Fishermen threw caution to the wind leaving Brook Wilkins as the only defender at times. But man-of-the-match Wilkins was in magnificent form and broke up several Fremington counter attacks single-handedly with some excellent defending.

Fremington did have one golden opportunity to clinch the win on 72 minutes when their left winger broke free and cut inside but a brilliant double save from Ledger kept Beer in the game.

Ledger’s save proved vital for Beer as they managed to salvage a draw soon after with an 84th minute equaliser. Paget’s long throw-in to the near post was flicked on to substitute Jake Hales who chested the ball home at the far post.

Next Saturday, Beer travel to North Molton in the quarter final of the Devon Premier Cup. It will be a tough test as the North Devon outfit will be seeking revenge for their defeat by the Fishermen in last season’s final. Beer will be well-supported as around 60 of their regular supporters plan to be at the game.

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