Beer Reserves sparkle as they see off North Tawton

PUBLISHED: 15:48 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:48 05 February 2018

Beer Albion at home to Witheridge. Ref shsp 04-18TI 6577. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Albion at home to Witheridge. Ref shsp 04-18TI 6577. Picture: Terry Ife


Mid-table Beer Albion Reserves achieved a fine 3-1 victory at home to second-placed North Tawton in the Macron Devon and Exeter League Division Four on Saturday, writes Richard Honnor.

The Fishermen were fielding six teenagers in their starting line-up, but with experienced players Mark Rooke, Steve Howe and Ollie Paget showing great leadership on the field, the team played with a maturity beyond their years.

In the first half hour, North Tawton threatened to overrun their opponents. They were quicker to the ball, stronger in the tackle, and denied the Fishermen any space to get the ball down and play.

However, Beer centre backs Howe and young Liam Cox showed great composure during this period, making some timely tackles and interceptions, to keep their side on level terms.

The visitors were restricted to just one good goal-scoring opportunity when, on 24 minutes, their midfield player blasted fiercely just over the bar from 14 yards after keeper Rooke punched away a corner under pressure.

A minute later, Beer were probably a trifle fortunate when strong North Tawton appeals for a penalty were denied after their forward appeared to be brought down in the box.

But the referee saw it differently, awarding a free kick to Beer, and also booking the visitors’ forward for diving.

The Fishermen’s first real threat came on 27 minutes when midfielder Paget’s in-swinging corner was not dealt with and the home side had a couple of shots from close range blocked on the line.

This was an indication of what was to follow. Paget’s corners proved to be the key weapon in the Fishermen’s armoury as the game unfolded and the visitors had another close escape a minute before the break when a header from another Paget corner was cleared off the line.

After the break, the Fishermen started to find more space on the ball and some delightful football ensued. On the left flank, Jay Catley’s pace started to trouble the Tawton defence and he should have scored on 54 minutes after getting clear but scooped his shot over the bar.

One minute later, a fine passing move down the right wing resulted in a low cross from Paget which skimmed across the goal. But the Fishermen were on top now and deservedly took the lead on 62 minutes with a superb strike from winger Catley. The young winger picked up a loose ball on the left flank, cut inside and hit an unstoppable right footer into the top corner from 25 yards.

Catley could have scored again one minute later, but again shot high over the bar after again getting behind the visitors’ tiring defence.

Beer went 2-0 up on 65 minutes when Taylor Rooke bundled the ball over the line after another Paget corner had caused mayhem. The Fishermen were in complete control now and sealed the win on 77 minutes when, from yet another fine Paget corner, midfielder Jake Clode got across his marker to glance a header into the far corner.

In a late flurry, North Tawton forced a fine save by Rooke on 85 minutes, but scored a consolation goal in injury time after a rare slip by the Beer defence to make the final score 3-1.

Match sponsors, Hansfords Funeral Directors, gave the Man of the Match award to outstanding North Tawton midfielder Jamie Atherton. For Beer, Jay Catley got the vote as Beer’s best player on the day. The game was well referee’d and played in a sporting spirit throughout.

On Saturday (February 10), Furzebrake stages more second team football with Beer Reserves taking on Sampford Peverell. Kick-off is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Kenworthy and Arbourne Builders of Beer. The Fishermen’s first team have a tough Premier Division fixture away at Newtown.

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