Ottery St. Mary Res 0 - 2 Beer Albion FC
Beer Albion 1st’s sit at the top of the Devon and Exeter Premier Division table following a 2-0 away win against Ottery St Mary 2nd’s last Saturday writes Richard Honnor.
It was a solid performance against their East Devon rivals. Defensively the Fishermen were hard to break down and offensively they played with good pace and plenty of commitment. Through over-eagerness they tended to give the ball away in the 2nd half, either with an ambitious long pass or by holding on to the ball when a simple pass was on. But they are a talented young team still developing and these aspects of their game will improve with experience.
It was an eventful first 20 minutes. Centre back Joe Adkin was booked in the 2nd minute for retaliation after being fouled. Then on 6 minutes Beer keeper Charlie Ledger was in action, saving well at his left-hand post to thwart a 20-yard free-kick. Ledger, standing in for regular keeper Elliot Driver, had a good game.
The Fishermen soon settled down to dominate possession and took the lead on 17 minutes with a well-crafted goal. Midfielder Brook Wilkins won the ball in midfield and slid a quick pass to the feet of Giles Basson. The Beer frontman, in a tight space, cut inside his marker and scored in-off the post from 12 yards out.
The Fishermen were well on top for the remainder of the first half, creating numerous chances with Tony Pinder prominent. On another day, Pinder would have had a hat-trick but attempts on goal were either narrowly wide or straight at the Otters keeper.
Both sides were impacted by injuries with the Ottery centre back retiring on 23 minutes with a pulled hamstring and then Beer striker Josh French’s appearance being cut short by a suspected rib injury in the 35th minute. Replacement Josh Lund did well but French’s versatility was missed as the game wore on.
After the break, the Fishermen were still on top but became frustrated by their inability to increase their lead and play from both sides became very scrappy. But Ottery were unable to make any impression against Beer’s backline for which George Harwood and Jack Prior were particularly impressive.
As the home side began to tire, Beer put some good moves together and Reece Best planted a header narrowly wide from Basson’s free-kick. Basson himself put the final result beyond doubt on 84 minutes when he outpaced the Ottery defence and side-footed the ball passed the keeper to notch his second goal.
Meanwhile, Beer Albion Reserves maintained their unbeaten start with a 3-1 win at home to Chagford in Division 2. The Fishermen were missing several regular squad members but were able to call on a number of the older brigade to help out.
Beer led 1-0 at the breakthrough a lucky own goal and, after a good spell of pressure in the second half, goals from Jacob Clode and man-of-the-match Tom Perry took the score to 3-0. Chagford reduced the arrears with an unstoppable 25-yard free-kick and made a spirited attempt to get something out of the game but the Fishermen’s defence, well marshalled by Andrew Foster and Jack Harwood, held firm.
Next Saturday Beer 1st’s are at home at the earlier kick-off time of 1:30pm at the Furzebrake (Supporters to take note please). The visitors are Exeter University 2nd’s and the match sponsor is Alyson Arbourne.
In Division 2, Beer 2nd’s travel away to Dunkeswell Rovers 1st’s.