Beer Albion record ‘fabulous victory’

A great shot of a soccer ball Doni and I shot with the rest of the sports stuff. Man, the sun was ho

A great shot of a soccer ball Doni and I shot with the rest of the sports stuff. Man, the sun was hot that day! - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion’s great run of form continues as they pulled off a fabulous victory winning 2-1 at Okehampton Argyle, writes Richard Honnor.

Fourth-placed Okies were previously unbeaten in fourteen games and their most recent scalp had been title-chasing Newton whom they thrashed 6-1 last Thursday.

So, by anyone’s reckoning, this was truly a magnificent achievement and the Fishermen fully deserved their victory.

The Fishermen’s win was based on the formula which has worked so successfully for them in this campaign, ie, strong defence, a potent goal threat and teamwork. The latter quality was in abundance on Saturday as every Beer player worked so hard for the team. It would be hard to pick out one individual on the day, but player-boss Richard Walker’s all-round contribution was outstanding.

Okehampton, full of confidence, made the early running and Beer were allowing their skilful front players too much space to shoot in and around the penalty box. Fortunately, keeper Mark Rooke again in commanding form made two early saves to keep his side on level terms. But the Fishermen gradually settled down and on 10 minutes centre back Joe Adkin headed in from Simon Smith’s corner but was adjudged to have fouled the Okehampton keeper.

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The Okies always looked dangerous going forward playing some sweet football with their creative number 10 controlling the midfield. In contrast, their defence looked vulnerable through the entire game to the Fishermen’s twin strike force of Walker and Chris Long. After Walker had gone close, there was a moment of controversy on 17 minutes when Long’s effort from 15 yards was fumbled by Okies keeper and appeared to have crossed the line before being clawed to safety. But the goal was not given.

As the half progressed there were end-to-end thrills, first Walker’s effort on 24 minutes being thwarted by the Okies keeper, then Beer keeper Rooke saving a swerving effort with his legs, followed by Adkin again getting on the end of Smith corner but volleying over. But Beer went behind on 37 minutes when they failed to close out a swift Okehampton break down the left and the Okies number nine converted from the edge of the penalty box.

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The Fishermen started the second half sluggishly and passed the initiative to the home side by giving the ball away too easily. But the Okies defence always looked vulnerable when Beer countered and on 55 minutes tireless midfielder Alex Hunt found Luke Bartlett with a through pass but Bartlett was unable to force the ball past the keeper. Beer were now getting on top and two minutes later, wing back George Harwood and Long combined to provide a great chance for Walker who got behind Okies defence but his attempted lob was clutched by the keeper.

But the Fishermen deservedly equalised on 59 minutes. Walker intercepted a poor pass and threaded the ball through to co-striker Long who beat the Okies keeper from 12 yards with an expert finish. Chances continued to come and go at both ends until the 79th minute when Joe Adkin scored a fine winner for the Fishermen. The Okehampton keeper could only palm out another deep, in-swinging Smith corner to the Beer centre back who volley in sweetly from an acute angle.

The game erupted three minutes later when Okehampton’s outstanding midfield player retaliated heatedly to a high challenge from Beer substitute Jacob Clode and was given the red card by referee Julie Knight. Clode was yellow-carded for the foul. The Okies were reduced to nine men, five minutes later when their substitute was dismissed for abusive language to referee Knight after a correct offside call went against the home side.

Despite being down to nine men, the home side threw everything at Beer in the final ten minutes but the Fishermen held on for a fully deserved three points.

Beer have a tough run-in, including away games at championship contenders Honiton and Newtown and on current form they could have a big say in which of these sides wins the trophy.

On Wednesday (April 19), they travel to Feniton hoping to reverse the home 4-1 defeat suffered earlier this season.

On Saturday (April 22), Beer Reserves complete their home fixtures against Awliscombe United. Kick-Off at the Furzebrake is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Beer Village Stores.

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