Beer suffer heavy home defeat to new table-toppers

Beer Albion away at Feniton. Ref shsp 37 18TI 0979. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Albion away at Feniton. Ref shsp 37 18TI 0979. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion slumped to to their fourth league defeat in six starts on Saturday when they were beaten 5-0 by Newtown in the Devon and Exeter League Premier Division, writes Richard Honnor.

The Fishermen have had a tough early league programme with three of those four defeats being at the hands of leaders Newtown (twice) and second-placed Colyton.

So, the hope is that the early season results are not a true reflection of how their season will fare overall.

They will, however, have to show a marked improvement on this performance to command a respectable position in the table.

From the outset, Beer were on the back foot and Newtown had two good opportunities for an early lead when O’Donoghue blasted over from close range on six minutes and then on 12 minutes keeper Elliott Driver looked back anxiously as a deflected shot went narrowly wide.

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The opening goal did, however, come a minute later when the Fishermen, for the umpteenth time this season, failed to pick up players at a set piece, leaving Dan Cullen unmarked at the far post to direct a powerful header past Driver from a corner

Driver made a fine save at full stretch on 15 minutes to keep his side in the game and he was relieved to see another header from a corner clip the top of the crossbar on 18 minutes.

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The Fishermen were unable to get any quality possession in midfield and were toothless up front.

Their task became nigh impossible when midfielder John Cooper received a straight red card after flattening the home side’s centre-back following a niggly skirmish.

Newtown were playing some great football and their main threat was coming down the left, thoroughly exploiting the extra space created by Cooper’s dismissal. Beer did manage to hold on until the 42nd minute, but went 2-0 behind when, following an incisive move down the left, Max Richardson put through his own goal under pressure.

After the break it was more of the same and yet another move engineered from the cultured left foot of Newtown’s wing back resulted in a third goal for Newtown on 55 minutes, this time a well-placed Cullen header.

Beer had to wait until the 68th minute for their first shot on target and almost scored a minute later when a deflection took Smith’s long-range effort just wide of the post. But that was as close as the Fishermen came, and as they ran out of steam, two late Newtown goals from Chambers and O’Donoghue sealed a 5-0 win for the home side.

But for some brave defensive work by Martin Adkin and George Harwood and some good saves from overworked keeper Elliot Driver, the margin of the defeat would have been even higher.

Beer will need to improve on this showing if they are to get something out of this Saturday’s home meeting with Upottery (3pm). The match sponsors are Steamer’s Restaurant of Beer.

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