Beer Reserves end season with home defeat to University
- Credit: Archant
Beer Albion Reserves, sponsored by Eden Vale Turf South West Ltd, completed their Macron League programme with a 5-2 defeat at home to Division Three runners-up University 4ths, writes Richard Honnor.
The Fishermen who have climbed from Division Six to Division Three over successive seasons, exceeded expectations by finishing eighth in a strong competition. On the day however, they came up short against a strong University side who played some neat attacking football although it was a closer contest than the score line suggests
The key difference between the two sides was in midfield where the Fishermen missed the experience and creativity of Alex and Ollie Paget who were both on cricket duties.
Beer suffered an early blow on six minutes conceding a penalty after a foul in the box. Matt Faulkner's spot kick was well blocked by Beer keeper Henry Bartlett but the ball rebounded back to Faulkner who made no mistake at the second attempt.
The Fishermen managed to contain their lively opponents to a one goal advantage in the first half, but rarely looked threatening. Jack Harwood did get round the students' keeper on 37 minutes, but could only fire into the side netting after being forced wide of the goal.
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Beer started the second half with more urgency and should have equalised on 48 minutes when Ryan King missed the target from four yards after the visitors failed to clear a long Alex Hunt throw-in.
The Fishermen paid the price for this miss when University went 2-0 ahead on 56 minutes through front man James Smith, who converted a left wing cross. For the next 15 minutes Beer enjoyed their best spell of the game, at last creating some chances. Kyle Gould, Tom Vincent and Jack Harwood all missed the target after fashioning chances for themselves and then Taylor Rooke sliced a volley wide.
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However, the students always threatened on the break particularly down the left and they increased their lead to 3-0 on 71 minutes when Smith notched his second following Ben Statham's direct run and pinpoint cross.
After Rooke had powerfully headed a corner straight at the keeper, the visitors stretched their lead to 4-0 when the Fishermen's defence was caught by a long ball over the top which was converted by Joe Hercher on 84 minutes.
In a late flurry, central striker Rooke at last had his reward, reducing the deficit to 4-1 when he scored on 85 minutes from close range.
A minute later they struck again when a miscue from Tom Vincent found the corner of the net after a strong Kyle Gould run.
University had the final word though, netting their fifth in the 89th minute when Statham expertly curled a 20-yard free kick around Beer's defensive wall.
Match sponsor Robert Adkin, on behalf of Paul Vine Electrics Ltd, felt that Beer midfielder Alex had a fine match, but the overall Man of the Match was undoubtedly University front man James Smith.