Beer sunk by visiting Hippos from Honiton

Beer Albion first team before their East Devon derby meeting with Honiton. Back row (left to right):

Beer Albion first team before their East Devon derby meeting with Honiton. Back row (left to right): Nick Driver (linesman), Chris Bowles, Jacob Clode, Kieran Love, Michael Westlake, Joe Adkin, Chris Long, Josh Harrison, Shaun Denslow, Ross Moughton. Front row (left to right): Richard Walker(Player-Manager), Ben Vine, Callum Gribble, Sam Phillips (captain), Sam White, Tom Neale. - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion were outgunned 3-0 by a strong Honiton side on Saturday at the Furzebrake writes Richard Honnor.

Although the Fishermen battled hard, they were at full stretch for the whole game and just could not get to grips with the strong-running Lacemen. Beer sorely missed their creative midfielder Pedro Fontes who has been developing a promising partnership with new signing Ben Vine in midfield and also injured striker Luke Bartlett who has recently provided Richard Walker with good support up front.

From the start Honiton were finding space down the left flank and took the lead after nine minutes when their left winger got clear of full back Josh Harrison and his cross to the far post was knocked back to the edge of the penalty box where their midfield player hit an unstoppable volley past keep Westlake. Five minutes later Honiton went 2-0 up when the Beer defence failed to deal with a corner into the six-yard box which was headed home by an unmarked player.

On 16 minutes, the Fishermen believed that they had got themselves back in the game when Richard Walker back-headed a free kick into Honiton’s six-yard box and the loose ball was poked into the net. The referee appeared to award the goal by pointing to the centre spot but then changed his mind and awarded a free kick to Honiton for an infringement after seemingly being swayed by strong protestations by the away side. But this proved to be Beer’s sole effort on target throughout the whole game and only some valiant defending kept Beer in the game until half-time. The Fishermen did create a couple of good chances but midfielder Chris Long missed the target on both occasions shooting wide after 32 minutes after good work by Love and Walker and then volleying over the bar five minutes later.

The second half was a repeat of the first with Honiton dominating with their direct long-ball approach, strong wing play and early crosses into the box. To their credit, the Fishermen’s defence held out well, but went 3-0 down on 60 minutes when another unstoppable shot from 18 yards hit the back of the net. The Lacemen then controlled the final 30 minutes with their back line easily containing any threat from the Fishermen.

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Despite the defeat there were some good rear-guard performances from Beer’s defender’s Harrison, Kieran Love, Joe Adkin and Sam White.

Whilst there can be no argument about the result the Fishermen’s cause was not helped by lenient refereeing which failed to spot a number of cynical infringements, deal with time-wasting and failed to cut out constant verbal pressure by the visitors for decisions to go in their favour.

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It was a pity that the referee was put under so much pressure because Honiton are a good side and, in my humble opinin, have no need to resort to such tactics.

Next up for Beer Albion is Saturday’s (April 9) Furzebrake meeting with Elmore.

Kick-off is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Beer Village Stores.

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