Beer Albion came out on top in this Macron Devon and Exeter Premier Division clash, clinching a 3-2 victory against East Devon neighbours and championship contenders Colyton writes Richard Honnor. After a closely-fought contest, the game seemed to be heading for a draw but in a late dramatic twist, Colyton conceded a penalty with just 6 minutes of normal time remaining. Simon Smith’s unconvincing penalty was parried by keeper Sam Riley but straight to Beer’s substitute Ed Karajev who slotted home the winner from close range.
Typical of a local derby, the game wasn’t always pretty to watch yet it was still an enthralling contest as both sides competed fiercely for the upper hand. The atrocious wet and windy weather made playing conditions extremely difficult and played its part in a couple of the goals. The contest was feisty at times but referee Paul Owens kept control with calm assurance yet still allowed the game to flow.
The Fishermen started with the driving wind and rain at their backs and went ahead in the 12th minute. Beer Keeper Elliot Driver’s long clearance went beyond the Colyton defence. With the assistance of the wind, the ball gained momentum after it bounced leaving Colyton keeper Sam Riley back-pedalling to prevent the ball going over him and into the net. Riley managed to get a hand on the ball but could only push it into the path of Beer’s Pedro Fontes who scored from close range.
The Fishermen had a good chance to go two up on 15 minutes. Chris Long battled past two desperate Colyton challenges but tried an ambitious back-heel attempt at goal when a lay-off to Fontes who was in space just 10 yards out, would have been the better option.
But Colyton started to get to grips with the conditions, testing the Beer defence with through balls holding up in the wind and they equalised on 22 minutes. A miscued attempt from outside the box yards wasn’t cleared by the Beer defence, and they were duly punished by a couple of slick passes and a good finish from George Richards finding himself unchallenged 18 yards out from goal.
Beer took a 2-1 lead on 29 minutes through an own goal. Simon Smith’s inswinging corner was driven in with pace to the near post and Colyton defender James Salter’s attempted headed clearance flew past his own keeper. But the visitors were soon on level terms. Callum Somers’s speculative attempt from 20 yards seemed to be sailing over the bar. But with a sudden gust of wind the ball held up and, to the horror of Beer keeper Driver, dipped under the crossbar bar and into the goal.
Colyton finished the first half strongly and the Fishermen had a lucky escapes on 38 minutes when the ball sped across the goal to safety after the right wing-back got behind the Beer defence.
After the break and now with the wind and rain at their backs, it seemed only a matter of time before Colyton would get the upper hand. But the Fishermen frustrated their opponents with a steadfast defensive display restricting them to speculative attempts from outside the box. Colyton’s Will Richards posed the main threat cutting in from the right on to his favoured left foot and he narrowly missed the target with a good strike on 65 minutes.
Colytons had another good opportunity to win the the game on 70 minutes when Matt Hancock’s teasing free kick to the near post was met by a Colyton head but went well wide.
With the game approaching the final quarter, Beer Manager Richard Walker brought Karajev and himself on and this re-energised the Fishermen. It was Karajev’s persistence in the box which led to midfielder Alex Hunt being brought down for the penalty. The visitors protested vehemently but referee Owens was well-positioned to see the offence. Thankfully for Beer, Karajev was sufficiently alert to follow up on Smith’s weak penalty and score the winning goal.
Next Saturday, Beer 2nds entertain Newton St Cyres 1sts at the Furzebrake in a Devon and Exeter 3rd Division game. Kick-off is at 3 pm and the match sponsor is Colyford Butchers Ltd.