Beer warm-up for tough cup tie with draw at Clyst Valley
- Credit: Archant
Beer Albion banked a point from a 2-2 draw on their Macron League Premier Division game at Clyst Valley, writes Richard Honnor.
Under new management and with a fresh team, Clyst Valley look a much tougher proposition than last season and in the first 30 minutes it was easy to see why they already have four league wins under their belt and sit fourth in the table. But the Fishermen showed steely resolve to get back into the game and in the end they were good value for the draw.
Clyst Valley took early charge of the game and after a long-range effort flew just over the bar, they took the lead on 16 minutes.
Beer have been guilty this season of giving away goals at set pieces through poor marking and this was again the case as Jamie Fanson, completely unmarked, powered in a far post header from a corner.
The home side missed a great chance to go two up on 21 minutes, shooting just wide from close range with keeper Elliot Driver well beaten. The Fishermen had to re-organise on 23 minutes when Theo Hill went off injured and things got worse four minutes later when they conceded a second goal. Yet again it was caused by failure to pick up players.
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Target man Fanson, who caused problems for Beer all afternoon, neatly laid the ball into the path of Ben Harris who, completely unchallenged, scored from close range.
Just before the half hour mark, Beer were given an unexpected lifeline! The Clyst centre back underhit a back pass to his keeper and Max Richardson showed great awareness and a good turn of pace to nip in and poke the ball into the net to make the score 2-1.
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Buoyed by this gift, the Fishermen grew in confidence and, five minutes later, they were on level terms through an own goal; a drilled in-swinging corner from Simon Smith flew off the head of a Clyst defender past his own keeper.
Indeed, it was Man of the Match award winner Smith, and his tireless midfield colleagues John Cooper and Alex Hunt, who inspired the Fishermen to get back into the game. By pressing and closing down, they were now denying the Clyst midfield space to set up attacks, forcing the home side to increasingly resort to high hopeful balls to target man Fanson, thus making it easier for Beer’s defence to contain the Clyst forward threat. Beer did have one scare just before the break when Driver had to be alert to deal with a fiercely struck 12 yarder.
The second half was not pretty to watch as both sides played the long ball game, which the defences were able to cope with more often than not. In this respect, Beer defenders Martin Adkin and Shaun Denslow showed their aerial dominance.
Opportunities did occur, however, for either side to win the game. Beer striker Chris Long volleyed narrowly wide on 56 minutes and then Fishermen’s young gloveman Driver, who improves with every game, had to save well at full stretch following a sweeping Clyst Valley move. Hunt had a great chance to win the game for Beer on 83 minutes, but missed the target from 12 yards after finding himself clear on goal. Three minutes later Clyst spurned a final chance to claim the three points when Harris shot narrowly wide from close range after Beer’s defence had been caught square. This would have been tough on the Fishermen who battled so hard and thoroughly deserved the point.
This Saturday, Beer 1st team are in Devon Premier Cup action with a tough task as they head for Peninsular League outfit St Martins (2pm).