Beer hit by lack of subs in narrow Hatherleigh defeat


- Credit: Archant

Beer Albion failed to breach Hatherleigh Town’s unbeaten league record going down 3-4 in a thrilling tussle at the Furzebrake, writes Richard Honnor.

Disappointingly, and not for the first time this season, The Fishermen started with no substitutes, and this cost Beer any chance of salvaging any points from this game.

The lack of subs became more puzzling, when news reached the Furzebrake that Beer Reserves had started their game down the road at Seaton with three men on the bench!

The game started brightly and Hatherleigh took the lead in the first minute, Rob Knight finishing an excellent free-flowing move with an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

Beer came back strongly with their twin-striking force of Richard Walker and James Melville, and young attacking midfielder Jacob Clode causing lots of problems for Town’s defence. Beer were creating chances, Chris Long twice going close and then Melville was foiled by the visitor’s keeper.

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All these opportunities being set up by clever passes from the influential Walker.

Then the play swung back in Hatherleigh’s favour, the visitors hitting the bar direct from a corner and then having a goal-bound shot deflected wide.

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The end-to-end excitement on the pitch was matched off the field for a few minutes when a long-haired variety of highland cattle joined the supporters from a nearby field.

However, the furry specimen soon lost interest in the match and was guided back whence it came by some cool-headed spectators showing more patience with the animal than they often do with the home side!

The Beer pressure built and they notched a deserved equaliser when Melville slotted home from close range after good work again by Walker. The home side were now in control and looked certain to score just before the break, only a desperate clearance thwarting Melville from 3 yards out.

After the break, Hatherleigh came out of the blocks quickly and Beer had to resort to some desperate defending and some good fortune when on 49 minutes the visitors missed a penalty after Josh Harrison brought down one of their forwards in the box. A couple of minutes later, Beer’s Melville, who had been outstanding, sustained a leg injury but because of the lack of subs, he was forced to hobble as a passenger for the rest of the game. Then when Harrison took a knock, the home side with nine fit men on the park were completely overwhelmed.

The visitors took the lead on 60 minutes through Jack Tyson after Beer failed to clear a corner. Now well on top, Hatherleigh went 3-1 up on 66 minutes through Ryan Davies and a minute later made it 4-1 with a 25-yard effort from Jake Rowe was partially saved by Beer keeper Jones, but trickled over the line.

Back came Beer pluckily and they reduced the arrears with a great left-footed strike via the underside of the bar from their man-of-the-match Walker.

Hatherleigh then became somewhat rattled and the Fishermen pulled it back to 4-3 with a late Chris Long penalty after Clode had been hacked down. It was not quite enough however and the visitors held on to deservedly clinch the three points.

The Fishermen travel to Feniton next weekend, hoping to complete the double over their close East Devon rivals.

The next home game at the Furzebrake is on Saturday, March 14, when Beer first team entertain Willand Rovers Reserves in the Premier Division of the Fresha League. Kick off is at 3pm and the Match sponsor will be Osborne’s Coffee and Wine

Devon and Exeter League Division 6 Match at Colyford Road, Seaton.

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