Albion blown away’ in windy match of misses

PUBLISHED: 16:39 20 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:55 15 June 2010

Devon and Exeter Football round-up: BEER Albion were involved in a classic game of two weather-governed halves when they went down 3-1 at home to Thorverton on Saturday afternoon.

Devon and Exeter Football round-up: BEER Albion were involved in a classic game of two weather-governed halves when they went down 3-1 at home to Thorverton on Saturday afternoon.

A windswept Furzebrake left the side with the wind at their backs holding a distinct advantage. The Fishermen played their first half with the support of the elements and should have gone in with at least one goal. Luke Bartlett squandered their best chance of the half.

The miss was to prove costly as the visitors certainly made the most of their second half chances and scored three times.

Justin Adkin, who also rattled the Mid Devon side's crossbar, struck a late consolation for the home team.

Albion boss Phil Crabb said: "The wind made life extremely difficult for the side defending into it and the key to the contest was the taking of chances. We needed to score when we had the wind at our back in the first half. The fact we went in at 0-0 left us always up against it in the second half. The overall performance was actually quite good, but that wind made a huge difference."

On Saturday, the Fishermen make the short trip to Stantaway to meet Otterton (2.15pm).

Beer Reserves did well again as they won 3-1 at UAU Exeter to continue their Intermediate One promotion bid.

Feniton shared six goals and the points with Wellington after a thrilling game at Acland Park. It means that, since Sean Devin took charge of the side in early November, the single goal defeat to Newtown remains their only loss under the new boss.

The Somerset side fielded a side with plenty of Western League experience and a share of the spoils is testament to the job the Blues' boss has done in the short term. Feniton trailed 2-0 before goals from Mark Kingdon and Alex Frankpitt restored parity.

The visitors took the lead again direct from a wind-assisted corner but there's plenty of character in Devine's side and it shone through as they banked a deserved share of the spoils when Kingdon netted his second to seal a 3-3 draw.

The Blues remain very much the best of the rest, behind the runaway pair St Martin's and Exmouth Amateurs. Next up for Devine and his men is Saturday's Acland Park meeting with Topsham Town.

There were mixed fortunes for the Feniton 2nd and 3rd teams. The reserves won their Acland Park encounter with Alphington Reserves 3-0 whilst the Blues' 3rd team slipped to an odd goal in five defeat at Countess Wear Dynamoes.

Seaton Town met a powerful Alphington side and suffered a 4-0 defeat but manager Mark Watkins was very upbeat after the game saying: "We played very well and, for the opening 15 minutes or so, we passed the ball for fun. Had we been able to find a goal in that early period of near total dominance then we would certainly have taken something from the game."

The best Town chance of the first half came after a sweeping passing move involving Jack Lamb-Wilson, Ben Ede and Josh French. Then trio worked their way through the home ranks with some superb passing and all the move lacked was a precise finish for French fired over with just the keeper to beat and, had that one gone in, it would have been a superbly worked goal.

Sadly for Town, the home side netted twice before the break to go into half-time with the advantage.

After the break, Town continued to enjoy lengthy periods of possession as they sought to find a way back into the contest. At times their passing was worthy of a much higher standard but they could not turn possession and fine movement into scoring chances and it was the hosts who scored the next, and all important, goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Jacob Hayes, Ritchie Durrant and Cameron Vere all came off the bench to make fine contributions to the cause but, despite their best efforts, Town could not find a way through and the fourth and final goal of the game was scored by the home side in the dying embers of the game.

It's East Budleigh away this coming weekend and Watkins is expecting a tough game: "The simple fact is that in Senior One this season it is clear that any side can beat another and I wouldn't be surprised if we came back from Budleigh with something to show for our efforts."

Upottery had a game called off for the umpteenth time this term when Glebe Park was unable to stage the meeting with Willand Rovers and it really does leave them facing up to some severe fixture chaos in the latter stages of the season.

The villagers are already committed to two games in the second week of May and, with 14 Saturdays of the season left, Merv Sawyer's side still have 18 games to play.

The Devon & Exeter League website is currently showing Upottery having seven matches to be re-arranged into the programme, four at home and three away and, with games pencilled in for each of the next eight Saturdays, it's going to be all eyes on the weather forecast or Sawyer's men will be playing three times a week throughout the closing weeks of the campaign as they battle to avoid the drop.

Of some assistance to the great escape cause, a couple of sides who are also down amongst the relegation threatened, Broadclyst and Culm United, drew their meeting and not one of the four sides who sit just four points above Upottery managed to win on Saturday.

This weekend sees a home game with Culm United and, if the villagers are to avoid making this a single season Senior One sortie, then they simply have to take something from the game with the Mid Devon side, preferably a win.

In Senior Three, Seaton Town Reserves claimed a second successive victory with a 4-1 win over basement dwellers Sandford. The game saw a debut from yet another of the seemingly endless crop of talented 'just turned 16 year olds' at Colyford Road with the appearance of young Miles Alphonse in the side.

Town boss Jamie Bond would have been delighted with the manner in which his side won the game, thanks to goals from the Clarke brothers, Charlie and Dave, an own goal and 16-year-old Miles Alphonse, who crowned a superb start in a Town senior shirt, playing up front off Mark Rooke, with a fine goal.

Dunkeswell Rovers got a rare outing in this weather-hit season when they lost 3-0 at Senior Four leaders Crescent.

Honiton Town's game at home to Morchard Bishop was called off owing to a waterlogged Mountbatten Park, but to date Town are well up on their fixtures. Indeed, they have played more than most in Senior Two.

This weekend Richard Ayres' side make the trip to North Tawton.

Colyton lost their home game with Pinhoe to the weather. This coming weekend they host Tipton St John in a Senior Three tie.

Offwell lost their scheduled home game against Newtown Reserves to the elements and the weather also did for the games at Axmouth (versus Ottery St Mary Reserves), Awliscombe (v Hemyock), Rockbeare (v Sidford) and Seaton Town 3rds (v Offwell Reserves).

***

Seaton Town under-16s have an important date this coming Sunday when they play their Devon County Cup quarter final tie at Colyford Road against Braunton Wanderers.

The big cup date means that Town boss Mark Watkins will have to do without a number of his talented 16-year-olds who are very much part of this season's Town senior side.

Watkins says: "In a way, it's a case of being delighted the lads cannot play for us because it means they are doing so well with the junior side by facing up to a quarter final.

"It's been a similar case with young Robbie Fellingham this season. Take last weekend; we went to Alphington without him as he was otherwise engaged in a game between Yeovil Town and Plymouth Argyle.

"It's a price we pay as a club for what is clearly a richly productive conveyor belt of talented youngsters and, as far as I am concerned, long may this sort of unavailability continue for it means that we are getting it right at the grass roots level of our club."

***

Axminster Town's Nat Foster has been making the news at Sector Lane recently.

Foster, a member of the Tigers' ladies team, was a winner in the club's popular 100 club draw in December, picking up £100 but a fortnight ago she made headlines for all the wrong reasons when she became the first Tigers' lady player to be sent off when she was given a straight red in the 5-3 Sector Lane defeat at the hands of Totnes & Dartington.

By Stephen Birley

Devon and Exeter Football round-up


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