Beer Albion came from a goal behind to score three times in the last 25 minutes of the game to seal a 3-1 victory away at Barnstaple Town 2nds, writes Mark Rooke. 

Playing conditions were very soft under foot with huge divots appearing all over the pitch. Both sides were constantly loosing their footing, making good football difficult.

Barnstaple were a lot stronger than the previous week where they were hammered 7-0 by Budleigh whereas an under-strength Beer hit by injuries were forced to line up with seven defenders.

The Fishermen were lethargic from the outset and were outplayed by Barnstaple in the first half. To compound things, centre back Liam Cox was forced to retire with a torn muscle after just 10 minutes.

Barnstaple took a deserved lead when their winger went unchallenged down the right flank and fired home an unstoppable strike. Minutes later he did exactly the same but this time his shot hit the bar.

The home side continued to dominate proceedings and only a superb goalkeeping display by Elliot Driver kept the deficit to one goal. In particular, a  save where he bravely threw himself in front of three goal bound efforts in quick succession was outstanding.

Beer were lucky to keep 11 players on the pitch when Finley Rooke got involved in an altercation but he escaped with just a yellow card.

After the break, Beer showed some improvement but were still below their best and Driver was still the busier of the two keepers with some exemplary handling and sweeping to thwart Barnstaple’s forwards.

As the game entered the final 25 minutes, the Fishermen finally began to get some control on the game although the final ball continued to lack quality. However, they eventually equalised when substitute Josh Lund chased a lost cause and  forced the keeper to rush his clearance. The ball ricocheted off Lund into the net. 

The slice of luck was just what Beer needed and within 2 minutes they were 2-1 in front when another clearance from the Barnstaple keeper landed in front of Finley Rooke 30 yards out. Rooke saw the keeper off his line and his first time shot sailed over the keeper into the net.

Beer were now on top and 9 minutes into added time Josh French sealed the 3-1 victory with a speculative strike which flew past the surprised keeper. 

For Beer, wing back Matt Berry put in a great shift and Charlie Ledger did well as sweeper but the indisputable man of the match was keeper Elliot Driver.

Despite the win, Beer’s injury list continues to grow and manager Mark Rooke will be hoping that he has a fully-recovered squad in time for next Saturday’s very tough Devon Premier Cup tie at Exeter University 

In front of a Furzebrake crowd of 80, Beer Albion 2nds slumped to a 4-0 home defeat against local rivals Farway Utd on Saturday, writes Richard Honnor.  It was sweet revenge for the visitors whom the Fishermen had defeated the Farmers 4-3 in the corresponding fixture at Farway earlier In the season.

Beer had no answer to the pace and incisive football produced by the visitors on the day although they did squander a number of good chances. However, the scoreline could have been much greater but for some fine saves from Fishermen’s young 'keeper Leo Gribble who had a very busy afternoon. 

With just 5 minutes gone, Farway were in front. The right back hit an accurate pass down the inside right channel which was well controlled and squared into the box for Fullick to hit a clean strike into the top corner from 12 yards.

The Fishermen squandered a couple of chances to get back on level terms first when Simon Smith, in the clear, shot wide from 18 yards, and then Fraser Beamont blasted a free-kick over the bar from 20 yards. 

Harry Lawrence did test the visitor’s keeper with a decent strike on 15 minutes and was unlucky on 25 minutes with a fierce shot that went narrowly wide. But Farway went close on three occasions themselves before increasing their lead to 2-0 on 26 minutes. Beer’s defence was caught in possession near the half way line and Farway broke quickly in numbers. Gribble saved the first effort well from De Winton but could do little about the rebound which was clinically fired home by Harry Leisk from close range.

Farway had a stroke of luck on 33 minutes when their centre back Forsyth deliberately handled the ball on the half way line appearing to deny Beer a scoring opportunity. The referee however thought otherwise and awarded only a yellow card.

But there was no luck about Farway’s third goal which came on 40 minutes thanks again to Beer giving away the ball in their own half. The ensuing cross from the right wing was not dealt with in the penalty box and a clean strike by River Leisk from 12 yards gave Gribble no chance.

The Fishermen squandered a good chance to stay in the contest on the stroke of half time but Jack Prior sliced the ball high and wide from close range. This summed up Beer’s day.

After the break it was more of the same. The Fishermen battled hard enough but their tiring defence and midfield was could not cope the pace of the visitors. Beer bravely held out until the latter stages thanks in no small measure to Gribble’s goalkeeping which included one spectacular flying save on 77 minutes.

But Farway wrapped up the game on 82 minutes with their 4th goal. Again Gribble bravely parried de Winton’s attempt but could little about the rebound swept in from close range by Fullick.

Match sponsor Justin Adkin of Adkin’s Boat Boatworks picked out Leo Gribble as Beer’s best player and midfielder Reece Hales toiled hard to spark Beer’s midfield. Man-of-the-match was awarded Farway’s midfielder Harry Leisk.

Next Saturday, Beer 2nds travel to their close rivals Seaton Town, wanting to avenge the 4-2 defeat earlier in the season. Kick off at Colyford Road is at 2:15pm.