Wonderful Westlake denies Axmouth as Beer share the spoils

PUBLISHED: 13:02 01 December 2011

Axmouth United returned home from their derby meeting with Beer Albion Reserves wondering just how they had not won the game.

The elements played a big part in the proceedings, and they were very much in favour of the Fishermen in the first half.

The opening goal came for the home side when a penalty was awarded after the ball struck United’s Mike Challis, but the match official deemed it handball, and the spot kick was duly tucked away by Beer skipper Sam Phillips.

After the break United had the benefit of the wind at their backs and they set about laying siege to the Beer goal.

Time after time they were denied by the exceptional Beer keeper Mike Westlake, and, with Phillips marshalling his hard working back four superbly, it looked as if the home side would somehow take all three points! However, 14 minutes from time, Jamie Hughes found space and delivered a wonderful cross that Matt Ellis tucked away to restore parity.

Westlake then denied Ellis before producing an even better save to deny the United Man of the Match, Reece Hales. In the final minute Westlake made his best save of them all, winning a one-on-one situation with Ellis to ensure his side took a share of the spoils.

A frustrated United boss, Laurie Forino, said: “It was a game that we should have won by four or five and yet could have lost 1-0! Our second half display was certainly something to savour. I can’t fault the desire we showed but you have to give credit to the way Beer defended and Mike Westlake had one of those days where he seemed as big as the goal itself.”

Beer’s Ross Moughton said: “We are very happy to get a point. They (Axmouth) are a very accomplished side but the performance of Mike (Westlake) was so good that it’d have been a footballing crime had he ended on the losing side!”

On Saturday Axmouth United host Milwey Rise in a Devon Intermediate Cup quarter final tie whilst Beer Reserves travel to Cullompton Rangers Thirds for a league game.

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