Beer share spoils with high-flying Okehampton Argyle


- Credit: Archant

Beer Albion and Okehampton Argyle shared the spoils in a hard-fought goalless draw at the Furzebrake on Saturday, writes Richard Honnor.

Okehampton sit fifth in the Macron League Premier Division table whilst Beer remain fourth from bottom

However, on the day there was little to choose between the two sides

After a quiet opening, there was a controversial incident on 12 minutes when the Okehampton left winger was brought down in the Beer penalty area.

Initially referee Hawkins awarded a penalty to the visitors, but after consulting the linesmen the Argyle man was adjudged offside before being fouled.

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The Okies had started the game brightly and the Fishermen had another lucky escape on 19 minutes when Sam Phillips headed a well-struck volley off his goal line following a corner.

Beer eventually settled down and missed a great opportunity to score on 21 minutes when Jacob Clode, unchallenged, headed Josh Moughton’s free-kick straight at the Okehampton keeper Geering from five yards out.

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The Fishermen were looking really solid and organised in defence with centre backs Andrew Foster and Joe Adkin dominant and inexperienced full backs Josh Moughton and Jack Prior improving with every game. Simon Smith in midfield was linking the play supporting his strikers well and was desperately unlucky on 41 minutes when his fierce 30-yarder struck the underside of the crossbar. Beer’s best move of the half came a few minutes later when after a slick passing move involving five players, the hard-working Clode shot narrowly wide.

But it was the visitors who started the second period more strongly. A good chance went begging on 48 minutes when an Okehampton forward sliced wide from close range and then on 53 minutes when their skilful winger Leahy cut in from the left and rattled the Beer crossbar with a 25 yarder. Then it was the Fishermen’s turn when Smith capitalised on a defensive mix-up but his powerful volley from 18 yards was brilliantly saved by Geering.

As the game wore on, the Fishermen’s defence was dropping deeper thereby giving the initiative to the Okies midfield and forwards to come at them.

On 62 minutes controversially the visitors were awarded a penalty when Foster was adjudged to have brought his man down after appearing to play the ball. But keeper Mark Rooke anticipated the penalty correctly and scrambled the ball around the post to keep the scores level.

Okehampton spurned another chance on 78 minutes when after scything through the tiring Beer defence, Piper blasted high over the bar from close range. Four minutes later Rooke again saved his side with a great point-blank stop.

In a last throw of the dice, manager Richard Walker brought himself on and almost nicked the winner for Beer on 88 minutes. After turning the Okie centre back and creating space for himself, his shot curled agonisingly wide of the post.

In a game dominated by defences, the Man of the Match was awarded by sponsors Bay View Guest House to Beer’s outstanding centre back Joe Adkin.

On Saturday (January 28) Beer first team make the short trip over the hill to local rivals Seaton Town for a Premier Division match, whilst in Division 5, Beer second team entertain Whipton and Pinhoe. The kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 2.15pm and the match sponsor is the Dolphin Hotel.

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