Lapford 4-1 Beer Albion 1st’s
After recently knocking Lapford out of the Devon Premier Cup, Beer Albion 1st’s travelled to Lapford on Saturday with hopes of causing an upset but they were defeated 4-1 by the Devon and Exeter Premier League leaders writes Richard Honnor.
Lapford are not pretty to watch but very effective at what they do. Their narrow, sloping pitch gives them a huge home advantage and is suited to their physical, long-ball, approach, and their ability to deny teams space to play passing football. It is hardly surprising that they remain undefeated for four years on home turf.
Nonetheless, Beer made a bright start to the game and took the lead with just 7 minutes gone. Giles Basson’s deep driven corner was headed back across goal by Alex Paget and Charlie Ledger volleyed home from 6 yards.
The Fishermen were competing well but Lapford always looked dangerous down the right hand side of the pitch where big midfielder Tucker was a constant threat with his left-foot crosses and long throws into the six yard box.
Try as they did to get some quality possession, Beer could not find the space against Lapford’s constant pressing, strong tackling and the aerial dominance of their back line. On 30 minutes Beer sweeper Jack Harwood was forced out of the game after a clash of heads to be substituted by Joe Adkin.
After a number of close calls, Lapford’s equaliser came on 37 minutes. Beer keeper Elliot Driver came to collect a long ball but under pressure, he was unable to gather cleanly. Lapford were presented with an open goal and took full advantage.
Just on the stroke of half time, Beer missed a great chance to go in front when Basson got behind the Lapford defence despite crude attempts to bring him down. But the Beer forward scuffed his finish and the Lapford keeper saved comfortably.
After the break, the Fishermen looked more solid and after a couple of tactical substitutions they were starting to win more second ballls. But they were dealt a hammer blow in 66 minutes, conceding a penalty when Taylor Rooke brought down Tucker. The midfielder despatched the spot-kick.
On 76 minutes, the Fishermen had penalty shouts waved away by the referee after Basson went to ground. In an attempt to salvage something from the game, manager Rooke pushed players forward, sacrificing the spare man at the back. But it failed to pay off and Lapford took advantage with two late goals to seal a 4-1 win.
Midfielder Alex Paget and Centre back Charlie Ledger fought hard for the Fishermen but man-of-the-match went to Lapford midfielder Tucker
Next week, Beer 1st’s travel to Dawlish United for the penultimate league game of this campaign. Meanwhile Beer 2nd’s conclude their league season with a home match against Newton St Cyres 1st’s. Kick off is at 3pm at the Furzebrake and match sponsor is Jimmy Green Marine.