Beer edged out in Devon Premier Cup close encounter with Bampton

PUBLISHED: 09:26 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 12 February 2020

Beer Albion Reserves at home to Winkleigh in the Bill Slee Cup. Ref mhsp 44 19TI 2609. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Albion Reserves at home to Winkleigh in the Bill Slee Cup. Ref mhsp 44 19TI 2609. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Beer Albion's hopes of success in the Devon Premier Cup were dashed when they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage, losing 1-0 at home to Bampton in tricky, windy conditions at the Furzebrake, writes Richard Honnor.

After a disappointing first half in which they conceded a soft early goal, the Fishermen can count themselves unlucky not to have got something out of what was ultimately a highly competitive cup tie. Their second half performance was magnificent, stretching the Ponies to the limit. Crucially, however, a missed penalty on 75 minutes cost them the chance to go on and win the tie.

Playing into a strong headwind, Bampton adapted better early on and scored what turned out to be the winning goal with just seven minutes gone.

Beer conceded an unnecessary foul wide on the left. The free kick held up in the wind and, as Elliot Driver tentatively went to claim the ball after it bounced, the alert Mason King nipped in to squeeze it past the Beer keeper.

The young Fishermen have yet to work out how to play down the Furzebrake slope in windy conditions, but there were better signs towards the end of the first period when Taylor Rooke made a couple of good runs down the left.

Beer did almost equalise on 27 minutes when Jay Catley's volley from was deflected away for a corner, but as the half drew to a close, Driver kept the Fishermen in the contest with a fine point-blank save.

After the break and playing against the wind, Beer were a much different proposition. Substitute Giles Basson was introduced on 56 minutes and made an immediate impression. His early through ball enabled Catley to square the ball to Chris Long whose shot was saved at full stretch by Bampton keeper.

The Fishermen suffered a blow on 64 minutes when main striker Long hobbled off. but they continued to drive forward inspired by fine performances from midfielders Alex Hunt, George Harwood and 16-year old Finley Rooke.

Beer were finally rewarded for their enterprise on 75 minutes with a penalty after Harwood was pulled back in the area, but Finley Rooke put his spot kick wide.

Undaunted, Beer continued to press and the Ponies keeper was called into action, first when he palmed Finley Rooke's 20 yard free kick over the bar, and then when he pushed Hunt's header round the post.

The Fishermen's injury woes continued with Taylor Rooke forced off after 81 minutes and his departure saw an end to any hopes Beer might have had of salvaging something from the game.

The Man of the Match honour was awarded on behalf of sponsors Jean Bartlett Cottage Holidays to Bampton forward Connor Stone who was instrumental in most of the Ponies' attacking play.

This Saturday (February 15) Beer first team host local rivals Lyme Regis with the Furzebrake kick-off being at 3pm with the match sponsorship being 'In Memory of Robbie Driver'.

Beer Reserves, who remain second in Division Two after a splendid 5-1 victory at Sandford are away at Honiton Town 2nd's.

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