Beer Reserves suffer 'a day to forget' as they exit Bill Slee Cup
PUBLISHED: 15:28 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:28 28 October 2019
It was a day to forget for Beer Albion Reserves when they crashed out of the Bill Slee Cup 5-1 at home to Winkleigh, writes Richard Honnor.
The visitors belied their Macron League Division Three status as they were superior to their hosts in all aspects of the game.
It was true that Beer had the worst of the conditions, playing into a strong wind on a slippery, wet surface. The weather settled down after half-time, but by then the Fishermen were 4-0 down with no way back.
Beer had no answer to Winkleigh's direct running style. The Fishermen gave the ball away far too easily, conceded too many free-kicks with ill-timed tackles and were punished for it time and again.
Winkleigh's opener came on 13 minutes when Robin Knight found himself one-on-one with Beer keeper Michael Westlake after a defensive mix-up and Knight rounded the keeper and slotted home.
Four minutes later, the Fishermen could count themselves unlucky when a free-kick was bizarrely awarded against them just outside the box and the set-piece was converted by Knight at the near post to make it 2-0.
Beer at last began to show some urgency, but midfielder Alex Hunt was thwarted by keeper Anderson's fingertips after a flowing move.
However, the Fishermen were punished soon after when they backed off to allow Winkleigh midfielder Avery to run at them from his own half and thread an incisive pass through to striker Chris Andrews who wrong-footed Westlake with a first-time finish for a 3-0 lead.
Richard Walker had Beer's best opportunity of the half to reduce the arrears on 39 minutes, but keeper Anderson saved well to deny him.
Any chance of a Beer comeback was soon put paid to when Winkleigh's Knight completed his hat-trick just before half-time to give the visitors a 4-0 advantage.
The Fishermen continued to be pegged back in the second half and had keeper Westlake to thank for two good saves early on. But the glovesman could not prevent Winkleigh going 5-0 ahead on 65 minutes when Brant scored from a 20-yard free-kick after another debatable refereeing decision went against Beer.
Winkleigh continued to dominate proceedings, but at least Beer could console themselves by netting the best goal of the game when, in the final minute, substitute Brandon Hopkins scored with a thunderous 30 yard strike.
Beer's best player on the day was the tireless Jack Harwood, but Mark Rooke on behalf of sponsor MGR Roofing Ltd, awarded the Man of the Match award to Winkleigh front man Chris Andrews.
This coming Saturday (November 2), Beer Reserves resume their Macron Division Two campaign with a trip to Uplowman.
Meanwhile, after a two-week lay-off, Beer first team are back in action with a Devon Premier Cup tie at home to Plymouth Hope. Kick off at the Furzebrake is 2pm and the match sponsor is John Wheeler Builders Ltd.