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Thorverton FC 2 - 1 Beer Albion

It has been a week of mixed fortunes for Beer Albion 1st’s in their quest for the Devon Football League and Cup double writes Richard Honnor.

The Fishermen reached the final of the DFL league cup final thanks to a 3-0 semi-final victory win over Paignton Saints at Stoke Gabriel and Torbay Police’s ground last Wednesday evening. In a fine team performance, 2 goals from Brook Wilkins and 1 from Tony Pinder secured a comfortable win. The final takes place on 6th May at Barnstaple and Beer’s opponents will be the winners of either North Molton or South and West Division champions-elect Mount Gold who meet in the other semi-final.

Things didn’t go quite so well in the Fishermen’s quest for the North and East league title. Despite outplaying Thorverton last Saturday, Beer somehow contrived to lose the game 2-1. After a fine first half performance, Beer led 1-0 through a 28th minute Charley Skilton cross which sailed into the net over the Thorverton keeper’s head. However, this was scant reward for Beer’s dominance and excellent attacking play. Were it not for the woodwork, some fine goalkeeping and spirited defending including 3 desperate goal-line blocks, the Fishermen would have been well ahead before the break. Thorverton’s only attacking responses in the first half were a couple of corners on the stroke of half time.

After the break it was a more even contest but the Fishermen still had the lion’s share of possession and created the better openings. Three good chances were squandered and the woodwork again came to Thorverton’s rescue when Brook Wilkins’ volley thudded against the crossbar on 68 minutes.

But Thorverton somehow survived and scored a controversial equaliser on 73 minutes. The scorer who tapped in from close range was flagged offside but the linesman was overruled without consultation by the referee who awarded the goal.

Beer were rattled by the decision but went for broke in search of the winning goal only to be punished on the break when Thorverton’s best move of the match culminated in an unstoppable 18-yard late winner from Ryan Mooney.

The one crumb of comfort was that second-placed North Molton still remain 8 points behind league leaders Beer after going down 3-2 at Budleigh Salterton. Assuming no further slip-ups by North Molton who have games in hand, the Fishermen will need to win their final league game at home to University of Exeter on May 1st to become North and East Division champions. Kick off for this game is at 3pm and the match-day sponsor is Colyford Butchers.

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