Beer Reserves make table-toppers work for the points


- Credit: Archant

With the Beer first team game at Hatherleigh called off due to wet weather, the focus was on Beer Reserves home game against Royal Oak, writes Richard Honnor.

The Fishermen’s second string sit bottom of Division Five and Royal Oak lead the division with a 100per cent record, but the Fishermen belied their lowly position with a spirited display against their talented young opponents going down 3-1 in a close contest.

The Fishermen made a great start and went 1-0 ahead on five minutes when Ed Karajev cut inside the full back and unleashed a powerful strike past the Royal Oak keeper from 15 yards.

Beer almost increased their lead on 14 minutes when Adam Brewer’s volley just missed the target. But one minute later, Royal Oak’s Nathan May found himself one-on-one with Beer keeper Henry Bartlett and coolly slotted home the equaliser. The visitors were now getting into their stride and solo effort from Kieron Smith was well saved by Bartlett.

Beer were often at full stretch to cope with the Oak’s pacey wingers but with Andrew Foster and Robert Adkin marshalling the defence well and Ollie Paget and Mike Wheeler working hard in midfield, the Fishermen were making a real contest of it.

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The home side again went close on 38 minutes Joel Seward’s shot was cleared off the line following a corner. However, as the half drew to a close Beer had 2 lucky escapes. First they conceded a penalty when full back Aaron Wain brought down a Royal Oak forward, but striker Jake Messenger’s spot-kick hit the post. Then just on the stroke of half time, Foster cleared off the line with Beer’s defence in disarray. In the 2nd period Beer continued to compete well but with only one attacking option, the tireless Joel Seward, they carried very little threat to Royal Oak’s goal. The Fishermen inevitably tired as the half wore on and Royal Oak went 2-1 in front on 63 minutes through Kieron Smith after the Beer defence was caught in possession. On 78 minutes Bartlett made another good save to keep the home side in with a chance. But the game was put beyond Beer’s reach on 80 minutes when Harry Choules made it 3-1. Showing good awareness, Choules spotted Bartlett off his line and lobbed the Beer keeper from 30 yards out. However, the Fishermen did not give up and almost reduced the arrears on 87 minutes when a 20 yard strike from full back John Adkin went narrowly over the bar.

The Royal Oak manager conceded that this had been their toughest game so far this season and if they continue to show the same resolve, Beer 2nds will soon be off the bottom of the table. Sponsor Clinton Estates awarded man-of-the-match to Beer’s Joel Seward who worked selflessly up front for his team.

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Next Saturday Beer 1st’s welcome Clyst Valley to the Furzebrake in the Macron Premier Division. The Fishermen will be hoping to reverse the narrow 2-1 defeat they suffered at Clyst Valley at the start of the season. Kick off is at 2:15 and match sponsor is John Wheeler Ltd. Beer Reserves are away Newton St. Cyres in a Division 5 foot-of-the-table clash.

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