Sidmouth Town 2nd’s 0-1 Beer Albion 1st’s
Beer Albion 1st’s moved back into 3rd spot in the Devon and Exeter Premier Division with a narrow 1-0 victory against Sidmouth Town 2nd’s at Manstone Lane.
A first-half penalty converted by Tony Pinder proved enough in the end to seal the win for the Fishermen. But the scoreline does not reflect the volume of chances created by both sides. Only some fine saves by both goalkeepers and some glaring misses kept the scoreline at 1-0. Yet again this season, conditions for playing good football were not helped by a very blustery wind.
Beer made an excellent start to the game getting to the byline regularly and creating four good chances in the first 10 minutes, the highlight of which was a great 20-yard strike from Keiren Daniels cutting from the right. The ball was destined for the top corner but Vikings keeper, Alex Bowring, tipped the ball round the post at full stretch.
The Fishermen were also let off the hook twice after failing to deal with crosses and leaving Sidmouth players in too much space to shoot from the edge of the box. Both attempts went narrowly wide of the target.
But Beer were generally on top at this stage and after being denied by two more fine saves by Bowring, they took the lead on 20 minutes. Pinder was brought down inside the box and got up to place the spot-kick coolly into the net.
Chances continued to flow and Sidmouth again narrowly missed the target when a 35-yard free kick flew over the bar on 29 minutes and then, for Beer, Daniels miscued an attempted lob over the keeper when in the clear.
Man-of-the match Bowring then foiled Charley Skilton at close range after a neat passing move down the left involving Alex Paget and Daniels had created the chance.
Beer started well enough after the break and created three early chances the best of which was Ledger’s close range effort cleared off the line on 53 minutes.
But the Fishermen became increasingly frustrated at their inability to convert chances. Instead of keeping it simple they began to hit long hopeful balls giving away possession and Sidmouth began to capitalise on this.
It was now Beer keeper Elliot Driver’s turn to shine and his impeccable handling under pressure assisted by a couple of desperate goal line blocks and the woodwork somehow kept the Vikings at bay as they made a late onslaught on the Beer goal.
But the Fishermen survived and the hard-earned victory keeps them in contention to finish 3rd in the league.
Apart from the fine performances of both keepers, Vikings outfield players Matt Colson and Louis Adey caught the eye. For Beer, consistent sweeper Jack Harwood and centre back Charley Ledger played well.
Beer will need to up their game on Wednesday evening, if they are to defeat Devon Football League high-fliers, Exwick Villa, in the much-awaited Devon Premier semi-final cup tie at Budleigh Salterton, kick off 7:30 pm. Villa will start as favourites but the Fishermen are quite capable of causing an upset having already beaten strong sides in this competition including Buckfastleigh Rangers and Lapford.
Next Saturday Beer 1sts are back in league action when they entertain Ottery 2nd’s at the Furzebrake. Kick-off is at 3pm and match sponsor is SeaSabre Ltd. Meanwhile, Beer 2nd’s travel to Newton St Cyres 1st’s.