Beer Reserves spring big surprise to defeat table-toppers

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion Reserves produced one of the shock results of the day with a 4-0 win over table-topping Otterton at the Furzebrake, writes Richard Honnor.

It was no fluke; the visitors, previously unbeaten since December last year, were totally outplayed by the Fishermen who exacted sweet revenge for their 4-0 league defeat at Otterton at the start of the season.

Otterton threatened early on and should have scored after two minutes when their striker was clean through but he somehow missed the target with just keeper Michael Westlake to beat. But the Fishermen quickly started to stamp their authority on the game and midfielder Simon Smith went close with a fine effort from 20-yards well-saved by the keeper.

On 10 minutes however, Smith opened the scoring, this time beating the keeper from 35-yards with a great shot squeezing just inside the left-hand post.

Beer continued to dominate the half with some fine flowing football and it was no surprise when they went 2-0 ahead on 35 minutes through a well-taken finish by James Spiers after being put clear by Smith.

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Beer continued to play with fluency and increasing confidence and Smith shot narrowly wide on 43 minutes after a great 4-man move.

Just on half-time Westlake made an important save from a headed corner to deny Otterton a chance to get back into the game.

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The Fishermen made the perfect start to the second half through a header from young Ross Broome.

Otterton strived hard to get back into the match but the Albion’s defence coped well with the physical challenge although left back Jack White had to come off early after an ankle injury after being caught in a hard tackle.

On 55 minutes Spiers was unlucky not to notch his second goal when he hit inside of the post but it wasn’t long before Smith scored his second, coolly slotting past the Otterton keeper to put the result beyond doubt.

Player Manager Smith was delighted with his side’s performance: “We had a full squad of players and that was a key factor. So often this season, we have struggled to get 11 players on the park so it just goes to show that we are capable of beating anyone in the Division when the players are available.”

Smith singled out defenders Jack Prior and Sam White for their assured performances at the heart of the Beer defence but it was Smith himself who stole the show and deservedly received the Man of the Match award from match sponsor Cafe Napoli, Fore Street, Beer.

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