Fishermen net share of the spoils from Clyst Valley visit

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion fought hard to secure a precious league point in a 2-2 draw with Clyst Valley, writes Richard Honnor.

The work rate on both sides could not be faulted but it was a dour contest and not a great spectacle for the crowd of around 100 boosted by the annual ex-players’ lunch.

The game could have been so different if the Fishermen had fully capitalised on the early pressure.

With a strong wind at their backs, they made the perfect start going 1-0 ahead in less than a minute when a fine pass from Luke Morrison found Richard Walker whose first-time cross was put into the net by Jacob Clode. Beer stormed forward and almost went two up on three minutes when Walker’s header from close range hit the bar.

Then, on nine minutes a long free kick from Shaun Denslow which bounced awkwardly had Valley’s keeper at full stretch to scramble the ball around the post.

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On 13 minutes Chris Long missed a great chance when Walker’s cushioned header from a free kick found him in space but he shot just wide.

At this stage Clyst Valley had hardly got the ball out of their own half, but they were handed a gift on 16 minutes when Beer glovesman Mark Rooke was dispossessed by Brad Palmer who tapped the ball into an empty net to level the scores.

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The visitors were energised by this and started to take the game to the home side. Beer however, went 2-1 ahead on 27 minutes; this time the Clyst Valley keeper making an error of judgement, calling for a through-ball which was never going to reach him. Beer striker Chris Long got there first and scored with a neat finish.

However, the Fishermen failed to capitalise on the conditions, regularly over-hitting long balls instead of playing through the midfield and down the flanks.

Clyst Valley were now well in the contest and Rooke made amends for his earlier slip with a good fingertip save from a fierce Chris Holding strike. Then the visitors missed a great chance, shooting wide after slicing through Beer’s over-worked defence. Clyst Valley were now winning the mid-field battle and eventually their pressure told two minutes before half-time. It was another gift for the visitors as an innocuous-looking cross somehow found its way through a ruck of Beer defenders to the far post where Chris Holding found himself with a simple tap-in to make it 2-2.

Beer received a big setback straight after half-time when their main offensive threat Walker who has been struggling recently with a calf injury withdrew himself from the fray. Clyst Valley were now dominating possession and with the Fishermen putting men back behind the ball and the defence dropping deep, their attacking options were almost non-existent. But Valley were failing to capitalise because they too tended to over-hit passes with the wind at their backs.

The visitors did however have good chances to wrap the game up. First, Rooke made a good save at full stretch on 75 minutes, then, two minutes later the Valley winger glided past two Beer defenders only to scoop the ball over from eight yards out.

The Fishermen’s only chance of the half came on 83 minutes when Morrison scuffed his shot across goal, but two minutes later Clyst Valley thought they had won the game with a Chris Holding header finding the net, but he was ruled marginally offside.

Sponsor John Wheeler Builders Ltd awarded man-of-the-match to Clyst Valley’s central defender Richard Carpenter. Mike Wheeler back at the Furzebrake after a couple of seasons was Beer’s best player on the day.

On Saturday (December 3), it’s the local derby as Beer welcome Seaton Town to the Furzebrake for a Macron League Premier Division game.

Another large crowd is expected and kick-off is at 2:15pm. The match sponsors are the Colcombe Beer Boys skittles team.

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