Skilton at the double as Beer win well at home to Hatherleigh
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Beer Albion, sponsored by Edenvale Turf SW Ltd chalked up their third Macron Devon and Exeter League Premier Division win in four starts winning 3-1, and thus completing the double over, Hatherleigh Town writes Richard Honnor.
The Fishermen were forced to make squad changes through unavailability but Richard Walker playing his first game of the season provide composure and leadership at centre back and and fellow replacements Kyle Gould, Josh Lund and Jack Prior all slotted in well.
For the first 30 minutes, the Fishermen were unstoppable, dominating possession with some incisive, passing football and pressing high to deny their opponents any opportunity to play the ball out and they sailed into a 3-goal lead. But for some fine goalkeeping, the woodwork and a missed penalty the goal tally could have been much more by half time.
But the Fishermen lost their way in the 2nd period. Instead of sticking to their simple but effective first-half game plan, their play became sloppy, over-elaborate and they were guilty of giving the ball away far too often. This allowed Hatherleigh back into the game and they managed to pull one goal back late on to give the home side a bit of a fright. Fortunately, for the Fishermen, the visitors were generally devoid of attacking ideas and the 3-1 margin was comfortable enough in the end.
Beer almost scored with their first attack on 4 minutes when Giles Basson, cutting in from the left, rattled the crossbar with a fierce strike from 20 yards. Two minutes later, the Fishermen were in front when industrious midfielder Charley Skilton finished off an incisive passing move from an acute angle after Hatherleigh were caught in possession trying to play the ball out of defence.
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The Fishermen went 2-0 up on 8 minutes when right-sided Kyle Gould scored a fine goal. He received a square pass to the right of the goal, wrong-footed three defenders, cut inside and slotted the ball past the Hatherleigh keeper from close range.
On 30 minutes Skilton scored his 2nd goal when with his back to goal he controlled a pass from Basson 25 yards out, turned and struck a fine left footer wide of the keeper's right hand into the top corner to put Beer 3-0 up.
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Young winger Basson was running the Hatherleigh defence ragged down the left and when he rounded the visitor's full back on 33 minutes his shot was well saved by the visitors' keeper.
Just on half-time, Beer were awarded a penalty when Basson was pulled back by the Hatherleigh keeper, but the glovesman made amends when he saved Chris Long's spot-kick.
The 2nd half was an anti-climax as Beer switched off thinking that the job was done. They paid the price on 81 minutes when a misplaced pass out of defence enabled Hatherleigh to pull a goal back and provide the visitors with a glimmer of hope. But the Fishermen's defence was rarely troubled thereafter and they secured the three points.
Whilst being delighted with the first half and three points, Managers Mark Rooke and Alan Potter were disappointed with their team's complacent 2nd half showing.
For Hatherleigh, skipper Darren Moore played well at the back, but game sponsor Woozies Deli 's choice for man-of-the-match was two-goal Beer midfielder Charley Skilton.
Next week it is local derby time as Beer 1st's make the short trip to Seaton Town for a Premier Division game. Meanwhile Beer Reserves who lost 5-1 to Elmore Reserves in Division 2, entertain Alphington Reserves at the Furzebrake. Match Sponsors are "The Chapple Family - Beer Beach, Both games kick off at 3pm.