Beer exit East Devon Senior Cup at semi-final stage

Beer Albion at home to Budleigh. Ref mhsp 14 19TI 1015. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Albion at home to Budleigh. Ref mhsp 14 19TI 1015. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Despite home advantage, Beer Albion (sponsored by Edenvale Turf) crashed out of the East Devon Senior Cup, losing 6-1 to Exwick Villa in a semi-final tie played at the Furzebrake, writes Richard Honnor.

Apart from a brief flurry from the Fishermen midway through the first half, Premier Division table-toppers Villa dominated the contest, based on an excellent defence, a direct style of play and clinical finishing.

Exwick came out of the blocks quickly and punished the sluggish Fishermen, taking a two-goal lead within the first seven minutes.

On five minutes a long ball over the top caught the Beer defence square and Levi Edwardson ran on to execute a clinical finish past keeper Elliot Driver from eight yards out. Two minutes later, things got much worse for the Fishermen when a cross-field pass found Ashley Brittain on the right.

The Exwick midfielder was forced to go wide on the outside of defender, Josh Moughton but due to poor defensive cover, Brittain was still able to get a sight on goal and he slotted the ball into the corner as Beer keeper Driver rushed off his line to try and thwart the danger.

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To their credit the Fishermen battled their way back into the contest after centre-back Joe Adkin was fouled a couple of yards outside the penalty area on 22 minutes. Free-kick specialist Chris Long reduced the arrears, beating the defensive wall with a well-placed effort.

Despite a fairly even period of play, Beer always looked vulnerable to Exwick’s accurate long passing game which invariably found their wide players closely controlling the ball with an assured first touch and then running at the back-pedalling Beer defence.

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Exwick’s tactics might have been more effectively dealt with, if Beer had adapted their flat back line to play with a sweeper who might have been able to get across and cover the danger.

Exwick restored their two-goal advantage on 33 minutes with almost a replica of their second goal.

Attacking midfielder Ashley Hudd used his strength to get round the outside of the Beer defence on the right and slotted the ball home across Driver from eight yards out.

Three minutes later the contest was virtually over when the visitors went 4-1 ahead. This time it was left-sided midfielder Louis Cane who got goal side of Beer wing-back Jack Harwood and with no defensive cover on show, Cane slotted the ball with precision into the left corner.

The Fishermen’s first half misery was compounded when Hudd scored his second goal, coming once again from the wide right on 45 minutes to put Villa 5-1 up at the break.

The second half was more evenly contested, but the Fishermen rarely looked like breaking down Exwick’s solid back line. Simon Smith did have one speculative attempt on target from 30 yards out but this was dealt with comfortably by the Exwick keeper. In what was otherwise a very sporting contest, Beer midfielder Theo Hill somewhat harshly received his marching orders on 75 minutes after two yellow cards in quick succession. The second of the two offences did not warrant a booking.

Beer’s day of woe was complete when Dylan Dare made the final score 6-1 with a high, in-swinging free kick from 25 yards out on the left.

Match sponsor, P.R. Driver Ornamental Ironwork, nominated Exwick’s Ashley Hudd as their Man of the Match. For Beer, centre-back Joe Adkin worked tirelessly for scant reward.

On Saturday (April 20), Beer first team are back in Macron League Premier Division action with a trip to Exmouth Town Reserves whilst Beer seconds entertain Newton St. Cyres in a Division Three contest. Kick off at the Furzebrake is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Norman Lambert.

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