Fishermen net point in entertaining derby draw with Feniton

Beer Albion at home to Ottery. Ref mhsp 08 19TI 0348. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Albion at home to Ottery. Ref mhsp 08 19TI 0348. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

East Devon rivals Beer Albion and Feniton shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Furzebrake on Saturday, writes Richard Honnor.

Beer Albion at home to Ottery. Ref mhsp 08 19TI 0358. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Albion at home to Ottery. Ref mhsp 08 19TI 0358. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The Fishermen were good value for their 1-0 lead at half-time and indeed had enough chances to put the game beyond Feniton at that stage. But after the break Fenny’s superior fitness began to tell and they came back strongly to snatch a well-deserved point.

Beer dominated the early stages and could have easily been two-up within the first five minutes.

First Simon Smith’s 15-yard strike looked destined for the left corner, but Fenny’s 17-year-old keeper Jack Tucker made a spectacular flying save to thwart the Beer midfielder.

Then Alex Hunt narrowly missed the target from a similar position after keeper Tucker fluffed his clearance.

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The Fenny keeper miscued again on 14 minutes to present the Fishermen with two more opportunities, but he atoned with two brilliant saves as first Chris Long and then Josh Lund tried to capitalise with goal-bound efforts.

Four minutes later, Long had another chance, but his spectacular overhead kick sailed narrowly over the bar.

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Feniton rode the storm and began to show a glimmer of the pace down the flanks that would prove so troublesome for the Fishermen in the later stages of the game.

On 22 minutes, striker Charlie Selly got behind the Beer’s defence but missed the target as young keeper Elliot Driver came out to narrow the angle.

Then, centre back Joe Adkin made a crucial block at the near post as a Feniton striker got on the end of a wicked cross.

The Fishermen continued to dominate, however, and after the unlucky Long hit the woodwork on 45 minutes, co-striker Josh Lund put Beer 1-0 in front with virtually the last kick of the half as he latched on to a through ball and cleverly lobbed the advancing keeper.

After the break, Feniton had an early chance to equalise on 47 minutes, but Selly put the ball wide after Beer keeper Driver parried his first attempt.

But the visitors had a lucky escape one minute later when their left back headed against his own post when attempting to put the ball behind for a corner under pressure.

Beer had two more good opportunities to seal the result. On 59 minutes, Long was again desperately unlucky when his powerful strike from 30 yards took a fortuitous deflection away for a corner. Then, on 62 minutes, as a teasing ball looped over the Fenny defence, hard working Alex Hunt found himself one-on-one with Tucker but the midfielder’s volley was clawed away by the talented Fenny keeper.

Then, one minute later, the Fishermen were made to pay for all their missed chances. Fenny striker Charlie Selly got himself goal-side of Beer’s defensive high line and ran unchallenged from the half way line to cut in and score from an acute angle with the help of a deflection off a Beer defender.

It was Feniton who were now dominating the possession and Devon Under-18 striker Oscar Walsh caught the eye with some marauding runs from midfield. All too often, Fenny’s forwards were exposing the Fishermen’s tiring defence, who persisted with a high line despite being outpaced by their opponents. Fortunately for Beer, Feniton’s final ball lacked quality and the Fishermen managed to survive torrid final ten minutes to secure a point.

Match Sponsors Colyford Butchers Ltd singled out Beer’s Alex Hunt for a fine performance, but the Man of the Match was Feniton’s Oscar Walsh, who looks a real prospect.

This Saturday (March 2), Beer make the short trip to Seaton hoping to avenge their home defeat by the Seasiders earlier in the season.

Beer Reserves, who went down 3-2 at Sanford last Saturday, will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run on home soil when they play in Division Three. Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Sunshine Samba.

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