Rooke stars as Fishermen are beaten by quality Elmore side

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion suffered only their second defeat in nine matches when they went down 2-0 to third-in-the-table Elmore, writes Richard Honnor.

The Fishermen put up a brave defensive display, but were outplayed on the day by the talented Eagles.

It might have been different if Beer striker Chris Long had made the most of an opportunity after just 30 seconds.

He latched on to a through pass, but the Elmore keeper got a touch on the ball as Long tried to go round him. That was the only time in the whole game when Beer troubled the away keeper.

Elmore took complete control of the game thereafter. Their midfield were much quicker and never gave their counterparts any time to get the ball down and play launching attack after attack on the Beer goal.

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The Fishermen’s defence, with centre backs Andrew Foster and Joe Adkin outstanding and well supported by full backs Jack Prior and Josh Moughton, withstood the onslaught but with their midfield being overrun and missing injured striker Richard Walker, the Fishermen had no one capable of holding the ball up to give their overworked defence some respite.

When the Beer defence was breached, goalkeeper Mark Rooke was in fine form.

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Thanks to Rooke, Beer were still on level terms at half-time.

The Fishermen’s glovesman thwarted the Eagles’ talented Bradley Newbury on three occasions with great saves after the winger looked certain to score.

To compound his misery, Newbury also spurned two more good chances in the first half, first spooning his shot over the bar from eight yards and then hitting the side-netting from a similar distance.

The pattern of the second half was a replica of the first 45 minutes.

Rooke again saved point-blank from Newbury on 46 minutes and then again from Elmore’s centre forward on 59 minutes.

However, the Beer resistance was eventually broken in the 61st minute when Rooke was finally beaten by a dipping 18-yard left footer from the Elmore centre forward.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 for the visitors when the Fishermen failed several times to clear their lines from a corner and finally the ball ricocheted in off an Elmore player into the goal.

Beer can take huge credit for a brave defensive performance but, simply, were beaten by the better side on the day. The Man of the Match award went to the outstanding Mark Rooke in the Beer goal.

On Saturday (February 11) it’s a trip to mid-table Exmouth Amateurs (3pm). The Furzebrake action sees the Beer second team host Winchester in a Division Five match (3pm). The sponsor of Saturdays game is Jean Bartlett Holiday Cottages.

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