Basson at the double as Fishermen begin new term with Hatherleigh success

PUBLISHED: 12:45 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 20 August 2019

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Beer Albion, sponsored by Edenvale Turf (SW) Ltd , came from 2-0 down to beat host Hatherleigh 3-2 in a thrilling opening match of the 2019/10 Macron Devon and Exeter League season, writes Richard Honnor.

Fielding nine players under 25, four of whom were teenagers, the 'new-look' Fishermen dominated possession from start to finish, playing some great football.

However, in the early stages they were guilty of over elaboration in the final third, and the experienced Hatherleigh back line defended solidly to thwart the visitors.

Hatherleigh went ahead in the 29th minute, intercepted a poor Beer pass deep out of defence before slotting past advancing keeper Elliot Driver. Things got worse for Beer six minutes later when the hosts punished slack Beer marking and Driver was beaten by a clinical 10-yard finish.

To their credit, the Fishermen kept their composure and stuck to their game plan, building patiently from the back with midfielders Finley Rooke and Charley Skilton prominent. Crucially, just before the break, Beer reduced the arrears on 43 minutes when winger Giles Basson scored from 10 yards after a driving run from Skilton and a neat through-ball from Pedro Fontes. After the break Beer continued to dominate the game and Finley Rooke was unlucky when his 18-yard strike thundered against the Hatherleigh cross bar on 49 minutes. Minutes later, a loose back pass from Basson almost allowed Hatherleigh to restore their two-goal advantage, but Driver was alert to the danger, coming off his line quickly to smother the attempt on goal. Hatherleigh continued to defend stubbornly and skilfully, but eventually they ran out of steam as Beer's superior fitness and constant attacking play took its toll. On 73 minutes it was 2-2 as 'live-wire' Basson scored his second, and in spectacular fashion! Substitute Simon Smith, found space on the left and laid the ball back into Basson's path and the young winger, unsurprisingly named Man of the Match, hit a fierce strike into the top right hand corner from 20 yards. Five minutes later Beer skipper Alex Hunt scored the winner, heading home Liam Cox's cross.

On Saturday (August 24), Beer entertain Whipton & Pinhoe (3pm). The match sponsors are Pecorama.

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