Beer Albion lose opening league game with last-gasp defeat at Lyme Regis

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion made a disappointing start to the new season, going down 3-2 at Lyme Regis on Saturday, writes Richard Honour.

From a neutral standpoint, it was an exciting contest, but the Fishermen’s performance was below par.

Although Lyme’s injury-time winner was a hotly disputed penalty coolly despatched by ex-Fisherman Ben Vine, the home side played the better football and deserved the victory.

Beer never came to terms with the narrow pitch and their five-man defence, playing too deep and flat, looked vulnerable to both the long ball and the quick break throughout the match.

Frequently Lyme’s midfield were gifted time and space to set up attacks because spare Beer defenders with no one to mark were reluctant to push forward to pick up players.

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Consequently, Beer’s midfield was overrun and the twin strike force of Richard Walker and Chris Long had to try and feed off long, hopeful passes out of defence.

Despite their shortcomings, the Fisherman almost got something out of the game. They started promisingly and had a good chance on 13 minutes when Theo Hill shot straight at the Lyme keeper after neat flicks by Walker and Long.

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Lyme, however, went in front on 26 minutes when, completely unchallenged, Bowditch headed home a corner from just six yards out. It might have been 2-0 a minute later when keeper Jones pushed an effort onto the post after a complete breakdown of communication between the Beer defenders presented a chance for the home side.

Just on half-time the Fishermen got back on level terms. After Simon Smith was fouled in midfield, Andrew Foster’s free kick was headed down by Richard Walker to Joe Adkin, who fired in from eight yards. After the break, Beer had a decent attacking spell and after Walker had shot straight at the Lyme Keeper, the Fishermen took the lead on 62 minutes when Chris Long neatly chipped the keeper from 15 yards.

Long had a chance to increase Beer’s lead on 72 minutes, but shot narrowly wide after getting behind the Lyme defence.

But one minute later, Lyme equalised with another soft goal from Beer’s perspective. Keeper Jones came off his line to claim a long through pass but was beaten to the ball by striker Simiani, who rounded the glovesman and rolled the ball into the empty net.

Lyme were well on top now and Man of the Match Vine, who should have been man-marked throughout, was creating problems with his mazy runs down the left wing. The home side twice had the ball in the net, on both occasions being ruled offside, before Vine slotted home the last-minute winner from the penalty spot after a foul by keeper Jones.

Beer are back in action tonight (Wednesday) when they play another local derby with this one being a match at Colyton (6.30pm).

Newly promoted Colyton made an impressive start to the season thumping Heavitree 7-1 on Saturday so the Fishermen will need to up their game considerably.

On Saturday (August 25), Beer Albion Reserves start their Division Three campaign away to Ottery St Mary. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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