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Plymstock Utd 1st’s 3-8 Beer Albion 1st’s 

Beer Albion 1st’s maintained their position in the top four of the Devon Football league when they completed the double over Plymstock United 1st’s  on Saturday with a resounding 8-3 win writes Richard Honnor.  As the scoreline suggests, the Fishermen served up a feast of attacking football.

After recent rain, it was very heavy and slippery underfoot at Dean Cross Park.  These conditions, combined with the swirling wind, made life difficult for defenders and inevitably mistakes were made.  But this made for an exciting contest and credit is due to both sides for throwing caution to the wind and providing a thrilling spectacle for the die-hard spectators.

In truth, Beer were so much the better side on the day that the 8-3 scoreline somewhat flattered the Stockies who had no answer to the Fishermen’s twin strike force of Josh French and Aaron Daniels. The hold-up-play and incisive passing of man-of-the-match French was superb throughout not to to mention his striking capabilities earning him two fine goals.  Daniels’ was also in fine form and his power, pace and work rate resulted in a well-deserved hat-trick for Beer forward.

The goals came thick and fast. Within 10 minutes Beer were 2-0 ahead, first through a close range effort from skipper Charley Skilton who followed up on a French shot which the Plymstock keeper could only parry.  Then, Charlie Ledger was on hand to force the ball home after Jake Rowe’s teasing  corner was not dealt with by the Stockies defence.

Plymstock reduced the arrears on 21 minutes with a penalty after a mistimed tackle on their speedy number 10. But Beer went 3-1 up on 27 minutes after a flowing move involving Jake Rowe and Liam Cox had put French in the clear. The Beer centre forward made no mistake with a clinical finish from 10 yards.

The Stockies made a bold effort to get back in the game and Beer were almost caught out by a cleverly-worked  free kick but keeper Elliot Driver was quickly off his line to make a good one-on-one save. Then on 41 minutes another mistimed tackle presented Plymstock with a second penalty but this time, fortunately for the Fishermen, the spot-kick was placed narrowly wide of the target.

Daniels rubbed salt in the wound on the stroke of half time when notched the first of his three goals to put his side 4-1 in front. He slotted the ball home after French’s header put him in the clear. 

After the break, both sides continued to attack and it was Plymstock who had first joy reducing the arrears on 60 minutes when they were given another gift after a defensive misunderstanding. 

The Fishermen responded with three superb goals. On 63 minutes Aaron Daniels made the score 5-2 with a spectacular curling shot from 25 yards into the top corner. Four minutes later French scored his second goal, taking a touch on Cox’s early cross from the right and then in the same movement delivering a wonderful finish from 10 yards.

The score became 7-2 on 75 minutes when substitute Alfie Matthews received a pass on the edge of the area took the ball past his defender with his first touch and then hit home a sweet strike into the bottom corner.

As the game went into the final 10 minutes a torrential hailstorm played a part in the final two goals. First Plymstock reduced the arrears to 7-3  with a tap-in after the ball held up on the muddy ground between two Beer players. Then just before the final whistle Daniels completed his hat-trick, forcing the ball  home at the third attempt after the home defence was unable clear the ball off the line in the increasingly soggy conditions.

Next Saturday, Beer are at home to Plymouth Marjon. The Fishermen will be keen to make amends for their 2-1 setback against the University side earlier in the season. Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 2:15pm and match sponsor is  Beer Coastguard.

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