Six of the best for Beer Albion

Football stand

League campaign opens - Credit: Beer Albion FC

After last week’s narrow defeat against Thorverton with a depleted squad, Beer Albion were almost at full strength on Saturday and it certainly showed with a convincing win 6-1 away at Okehampton Argyle 2nd’s in this Devon and Exeter Premier Division contest, writes Richard Honnor. 
The Fishermen dominated for long periods and but for a fine goalkeeping display by the Okies keeper, the scoreline would have been much greater. 
After an early Okehampton strike was dealt with by Beer keeper Elliot Driver, the Fishermen settled quickly, dominating possession with some great passing football. The signs were ominous for Okies when Brooklyn Wilkins shot narrowly wide on 10 minutes and then their ‘keeper saved Tony Pinder’s 14th minute strike at full stretch. 
Beer took the lead on 16 minutes when Taylor Rooke headed home George Harwood’s drilled corner from seven yards out. Two minutes later it was 2-0, after Pinder made a great run down the right and pulled back a cross into the danger zone, which Reece Best converted. 
The pressure on Okehampton was relentless, although Driver again had to be alert to save a well-struck free kick on 28 minutes. But Beer went 3-0 ahead on 29 minutes after a through ball from Pinder found Taylor Rooke. Rooke’s shot was blocked but centre forward Best was in the right position to force the ball home from close range. 
On 36 minutes, Okies were reduced to 10 men when their midfielder was sin-binned by the referee for vehemently querying a couple of decisions. The onslaught continued until half time but thanks to desperate defending and a couple of fine saves to deny the irrepressible Pinder, the score remained at 3-0. 
After the break, Okehampton had a good spell, catching the Beer defence square several times and creating a couple of clear-cut chances. 
Despite their three-goal advantage, the Fishermen were showing frustration with some of the refereeing decisions which were going against them. None more so than when Okies reduced the deficit on 62 minutes from a free kick side-footed into the net from outside the area whilst Beer were still organising their defensive wall. The referee had allowed the kick to be taken without blowing his whistle.  
Beer re-focused after manager Rooke astutely introduced three substitutes and re-shaped the defence to deal with the threat down the right. The football started to flow again and substitute Ryan King pushing forward made the score 4-1 on 76 minutes with a clean strike from 15 yards. Late goals from George Harwood (87 mins) and Josh French (89) sealed the 6-1 victory.  
There were fine Beer performances across the park but the attacking play of Tony Pinder and Reece Best, along with Taylor Rooke’s industry shone through. 
Next Saturday Beer 1st’s entertain Sidmouth 2nd’s at the Furzebrake. Kick-off is at 3pm and the match sponsors are the Chappell Family - Beer Beach. 
Beer Albion 2nd’s chalked up their first win of the season, defeating previously unbeaten Tipton St John at home in a hard-fought Devon and Exeter Division Two. 
Defences on both sides were tough to break down with few clear-cut chances in the first half. But the Fishermen made the breakthrough just before half time when Simon Smith converted a penalty awarded for hand ball. 
The game opened up after the break but generally defences remained on top. Then on 73 minutes, Tipton equalised to set up an exciting finish.  
With just eight minutes remaining, Beer substitute Jacob Clode scored the winner, a well-placed strike at the keeper’s near post to secure the three points for the Fishermen. 

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