Beer Reserves beaten at home by high-flying Elmore
PUBLISHED: 12:50 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:50 30 December 2019
Having lost 5-1 at Elmore 2nds earlier in the season, Beer Albion 2nds suffered a 6-2 defeat when the teams met in the return fixture at the Furzebrake on the final Saturday of the year, writes Richard Honnor.
The Eagles have an impressive 100 per cent record in all competitions this season and look odds-on certainties to win the Macron League Division Two Title. They have only conceded four league goals this season, but at least the Fishermen can console themselves with managing to score three of those!
In the first half, there was little to choose between the two sides and there was a flurry of action in the first five minutes.
Elmore keeper Atkins made a fine double save in the first minute to keep out a firm hit from Billy Long and the follow-up from Taylor Rooke. One minute later, Beer were ahead when this time Atkins could only parry another clean strike from Billy Long into his own net.
Elmore were quickly back on level terms with Joe Barrow converting from the spot on three minutes after referee Cairns adjudged that a push on an Elmore player was marginally inside the penalty box.
The Eagles were testing the Beer back line with long balls and Fishermen glovesman Westlake made two good saves to keep his side in the game. Wide player Lloyd White was also a threat, regularly going past players with strong, mazy runs. But the Fishermen created good chances of their own with their wide midfielder Jay Catley delivering some great crosses into the danger area upon which the home side failed to capitalise.
Just before the break Elmore went 2-1 ahead, Rainey providing the finish on 42 minutes after a quick counter unlocked the Beer defence.
The game was virtually wrapped up within 15 minutes of the restart when Elmore scored twice to extend their lead to 4-1, During this period the Eagles piled on the pressure and the Fishermen were unable to get any quality possession. The inevitable goals came first on 52 minutes from Callum Old and then on 60 minutes when Rainey scored his second. Disappointingly for Beer, both were soft goals resulting from defensive mix-ups.
The Fishermen at last started to get a fair share of the possession and reduced the arrears to 4-2 on 65 minutes.
Keeper Atkins made a hash of a cross into the box and Chris Long hit a teasing 15-yarder which trickled over the line.
However, any hopes of a comeback were thwarted when their outstanding player, full-back Jack Harwood, had to come off injured after a strong challenge and Beer could not get their shape right after this setback.
Elmore sealed victory with late strikes in the 78th and 80th minutes through Old and Hutchins respectively.
Match sponsor Mike Adkin awarded the Man of the Match honour to Elmore's Lloyd White who troubled the Beer defence throughout with his direct wing play.
This Saturday (January 4), Beer 1st team are in home action against Sidmouth Town Reserves (2.15pm) and the match sponsors are Beer Coastguard Rescue Team. Beer Reserves travel into Exeter to meet Heavitree 2nds.