Results back Devine as Fenny boss

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:51 15 June 2010

BEER Albion belied their lowly top flight status as they scored first in their Furzebrake meeting with Premier Division champions elect St Martin's writes Stephen Birley.

BEER Albion belied their lowly top flight status as they scored first in their Furzebrake meeting with Premier Division champions elect St Martin's and, despite the Exminster side scoring twice before the break to seal a 2-1 victory, the manner in which the second half was played out gave rise to genuine belief that the Fishermen can yet avoid slipping into the senior divisions.Albion boss Phil Crabb said: "The team did play very well but the level of performance was not a surprise to me and I think we saw a true measure of what this side is capable of when we get full availability. The fact we drew the second half 0-0 speaks volumes for what we have in our locker. St Martin's are a good side and have pace in all the right areas, but we stood up to them and there's plenty of time left for us to battle our way out of the drop zone."Justin Adkin got the Fishermen's goal and next up is a trip to Hatherleigh. If Albion are to mount a rescue mission and avoid the drop then the trip to North Devon needs to see the side return home with something positive. Crabb added: "It's a big game, there's no avoiding that. I am looking for more of the same from the St Martin's game and if we do that, we have a great chance of banking points from the Hatherleigh trip."While Beer are planning a great escape from the Premier Division basement, across at Acland Park Feniton are looking at a top three finish. They enhanced their chances of achieving that with a 6-0 thumping of Budleigh Salterton with all the goals coming in the second half.Playing up the home slope in the first half, with a 4/5/1 formation, the Blues changed things after the break and went 4/4/2 pushing Man of the Match Charlie Selley up alongside John French. Three goals within as many minutes after the re-start set the home side up for a much deserved win. French, Andy Jones, Mark Simic and recent signing Matt Hesford netted the Blues' goals.It was the perfect start to the New Year for Sean Devine who has now been confirmed as the club's permanent replacement for former boss Dave Carnall. Mike Court has agreed to work with Devine, at least until the end of the current season, and this was a decisive factor in the new man agreeing to take the helm on a permanent basis.As for the win over Budleigh, Devine said: "It was an even contest in the first half but, once we hit them early in the second, the outcome was never in doubt. It was a very good all-round performance in which Charlie Selley excelled."It's now five wins, a draw and just a single defeat for the Blues since Devine took charge and the new man sees no reason why his charges cannot go on and finish in the top three.He said: "I think we have a real chance, we have got a good side playing some smashing football. It certainly helps to have players of the calibre of Mark Simic involved and how I'd like to see more of that!"Seaton Town boss Mark Watkins was another very contented manager after watching his side despatch Broadclyst to a 4-1 defeat. Watkins said: "That was a very good performance. They played well, but some of the football we played was out of the top drawer. When we defended we did so off a 4/5/1 formation but, once we got the ball forward, we switched to a very effective 4/3/3 and it paid dividends."Once again the Town side had a youthful look about it. Sixteen- year-old Cameron Vere was outstanding in the striker support role he shared with Matt Rowson behind lone striker, two goal John Cooper.Cooper, who is now finding his feet back in Senior One after his pre-Christmas switch from Axmouth United, is looking very much the previously missing link. He bagged a brace but the first goal of the game came from the cultured left foot of another youngster, Robbie Fellingham who set off on a mazy run from his own half, rounding a couple of defenders and the keeper, before rolling the ball home.Johnny Wilkinson rifled home a goal after a Vere header drew a brilliant save from the Broadclyst keeper. The visitors did get a goal of their own but, at that stage, the home side were already three to the good.Watkins said: "It was very much a back-to-basics rallying call we gave out before the game. We asked the defenders to resort to no nonsense defending and we also asked that, when we got the ball forward, we moved it quickly with good passing and some of the play really was special. It was very encouraging and, if we can find some form of consistency with this sort of display, then there's an awful lot left in this season for my side."It's Westexe next for Town but Watkins will not be there as he is away skiing in the French Alps. He will keep in touch with events at Tiverton on Saturday afternoon as he explained, saying: "I shall be on the piste with my mobile phone securely attached to my ear. I am hoping we can bring back the points, I'd like to think we will."Pete Northcott will take charge of the side for the trip to Mid Devon and, whilst Watkins is absent, Josh French, who is just back from two weeks' skiing, and Brad Groves are both available and it leaves the Town boss with something of a selection headache. He said: "No complaints from me on that score. It's managerial nirvana to come off the back of a super show, a four goal win and then get two quality players back in the fold."Rockbeare Rangers were one of the few sides to get some action, although they did not endure the happiest of starts to 2009 as they went down 2-1 at home to Bow AAC Reserves.The visitors arrived sitting above the Rooks in the Intermediate Two table on goals scored, but the hosts' preparations were hit with availability problems. Nic Perrem was responsible for the home side's goal with a superb strike from fully 35 yards. Perrem, Paul Chapman and Brinley Way were the players to star for the home side.This was only the fourth home game of the Rockbeare season and they are still to claim a win after two defeats and two draws.Next up for the Rooks is Saturday's trip to Oak, who are just a point better off in the table having played three games more. Seaton Town 3rds were involved in a second successive 0-0 draw, this time with a strong Lapford side, and there was much from the Town display to please manager Gavin Warren, in particular the performance of 16 year old Ryan Turner who produced a stunning first half save.


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