Beer still pointless after being toppled by Tops


- Credit: Archant

Beer Albion were no match for Topsham Town on Saturday as they went down 3-1 to the current champions at the Furzebrake on Saturday, writes Richard Honnor.

This latest defeat leaves the Fishermen still pointless at the foot of the Macron League, Premier Division table.

From the outset, Topsham dominated the proceedings. Beer’s midfield were given little space and opportunity to get the ball down and play. Equally the Fishermen’s back line were closed down so quickly by the visitor’s forwards that they were forced to hit long, hopeful clearances which were easily dealt with. In contrast, Topsham kept possession well with swift passing and good movement off the ball and their fast breaking forwards provided a torrid afternoon for the home side’s defence. Up front Richard Walker provided a lone threat for Beer but even he was often thwarted by some determined, robust Topsham defending.

After missing two good chances early on, Topsham’s first goal came on 15 minutes when keeper Rooke and full back Harrison collided as Rooke punched out a high ball delivered into the box from a free-kick. The Beer defence hesitated as Harrison went down clutching his head expecting the referee’s whistle which didn’t come. This provided Topsham midfielder Jesse Howe with sufficient time and space to hit a 30-yard screamer into the top right corner. The Fishermen managed to keep the deficit to one goal until half time through some desperate defending and fine goal-keeping from Mark Rooke.

Immediately after the break Walker missed a good opportunity to equalise. Topsham countered immediately with a 2nd goal on 48 minutes following a quick break down the left. The resulting cross to the near post was turned in by Alex Gibbins with Beer caught flat-footed. After another 10 torrid minutes, Beer at last started to get some quality possession and after a couple of good moves down the right involving George Harwood, Walker had a great effort desperately scrambled around the post by the Topsham keeper. This was the Fishermen’s best spell in the match and they reduced the arrears on 65 minutes when a free-kick to the far post from Harrison was won by Walker and after Luke Morrison’s effort was cleared off the line substitute Jacob Clode bundled the ball into the net. However any hope of a comeback was thwarted a minute late when Topsham made in 3-1 with Howe scoring his 2nd goal after a suspect challenge on Beer midfielder Smith was allowed to go unpunished by the referee.

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In the last 20 minutes their were chances at both ends. Walker was desperately unlucky not to score first when his effort from 8 yards out went narrowly wide and he then rattled the crossbar with 25 yarder. But the visitors created chances of their own and keeper Rooke pulled off five great saves in the last 20 minutes. For Topsham, man-of-the-match Howe missed an opportunity for his hat-trick when he struck a penalty over the bar after a Beer hand-ball but in the end the visitors were comfortable winners.

Beer will be hoping for a change in league fortunes on Saturday (October 29) when Exmouth Amateurs visit the Furzebrake. Kick off is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Beer Fish and Chips, Fore Street, Beer.

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