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Newtown 4-0 Beer Albion 1st’s

Current holders Beer Albion were knocked out of the Devon Premier Cup on Saturday going down 4-0 away to a good Newtown side in this semi-final tie writes Richard Honnor. It was the Fishermen’s first defeat in all competitions this season.

Playing conditions were very heavy and this clearly favoured the home side. It was somewhat puzzling that Newtown were given the home advantage for this semi-final given that the other tie was played on a neutral ground.

Nonetheless, the Fishermen started well, playing good football with midfielder Finley Rooke prominent, finding his forward players regularly with crisp short passes and accurate long balls.

Beer created several chances during the first 30 minutes and, if they had taken a couple of them, the game might well have had a different outcome. Early on, Giles Basson fired just wide from distance and Jack de Winton miscued a chance in the penalty box. Then on 17 minutes, the Newtown keeper made a fine save to thwart Finley Rooke’s well-placed 25 yard free kick. One minute later the home keeper made another good save to deny Cody Bowditch’s shot from wide left after a neat interchange between Taylor Rooke and Basson. From the resulting corner Taylor Rooke’s goalbound header struck a Newtown defender’s head and sailed over the bar.

The home side posted a couple of early warnings themselves, going close with a header from a set piece which was scrambled away by the Beer defence and then their big striker just failing to get contact on a screaming cross from the right. The quality of the Newtown’s final ball became a crucial factor as the tie progressed.

After playing the better football in the first half, Beer found themselves behind on the stroke of half time to a terrific solo effort from Newtown’s outstanding no 11, Joel Greenslade. He jinked his way down the right and cut in to hit a curling shot from 20 yards into the top left hand corner.

After the break, the Fishermen again started brightly but Newtown began to get the upper hand in the heavy condititions. The home side went 2-0 ahead on 57 minutes when a cross from the right skidded into the danger area and was neatly glanced home on the first bounce by Dale O’Donohue.

Beer almost reduced the arrears 3 minutes later but Will House’s 15-yarder was acrobatically saved by the Newtown keeper who was having a fine game.

Any hopes of a Beer recovery were wrecked when their keeper Elliot Driver received his marching orders on 66 minutes. After a making a great save from point blank range he inexplicably fouled the Newtown forward right under the referee’s nose resulting in his second dismissal of the season.

Stand-in keeper Charlie Ledger parried Cory Donahue’s spot-kick but could do litle about the rebound which gave Newtown an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Things got worse when Beer were reduced to nine men first when Charley Skilton was sent to sin bin after expressing frustration. No sooner was Skilton back on the field, Tony Pinder was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card.

With Beer now stretched to the limit, Newtown sealed their cup final place on 75 minutes when another skidding cross from the right was inadvertently deflected home by Taylor Rooke.

Despite the disappointing result, striker Taylor Rooke and centre-back-cum- substitute-keeper Charlie Ledger battled hard for Beer until the final whistle.

Next Saturday, the Fishermen are back at Newtown in the return Devon League league fixture. Despite Saturday’s setback, Beer are a very good side and they need to keep focused on a strong run-in to remain in the hunt for for the league and league cup titles which remain well within their grasp.

Devon and Exeter League Division 1

Beer Albion 2nd’s 1-1 Hatherleigh Town

After a disappointing recent run, Beer 2nd’s were hoping for a home victory against struggling Hatherleigh Town in Devon and Exeter Division 1 writes Jamie Bond. But after trailing for much of the game they had to settle for a point thanks to a last minute equaliser from Reece Best.

The Fishermen started brightly but went 1-0 behind to a penalty on 30 minutes after keeper Adam Clinch caught a Hatherleigh forward with a late challenge after a chase for the ball.

To compound Beer’s misery Jamie Walker was sin-binned soon after for some alleged remarks to the referee, a decision which baffled the players.

The Fishermen dominated possession but Hatherleigh, defending deeply, offered stout resistance.

After the break, Beer continued to dominate the game and were comfortable in possession but lacked a cutting edge. Manager Jamie Bond decided that a more direct approach was necessary and the introduction of impressive substitutes Josh Lund, Reece Hales and Max Richardson made this possible.

The Fishermen threw men forward and eventually equalised on 83 minutes with a goal from free-scoring Reece Best who executed Josh Lund’s fine cross from the right.

Adam Clinch in goal had a good game and Daley Holmes, Ash Driver and Simon Smith also did well for the Fishermen. Match Sponsors, “Indulge in Beer”, awarded man-of-the-match to midfielder Alex Paget.

Next Saturday, Beer 2nd’s are again at home in Devon and Exeter Division 1 action when they entertain University of Exeter 3rd’s. Kick-off is at 3pm and the match day sponsor is the Barrel Of Beer.

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