Skilton spot on as Beer Albion win derby at Seaton Town
- Credit: Archant
In front of a big crowd at Colyford Road, Beer Albion, who have as main sponsors Edenvale Turf SW Ltd, continued their fine start to the new season with a narrow 1-0 victory away against their local East Devon rivals Seaton Town, writes Richard Honnor.
Seaton with a fine tradition in Devon football marked the day to celebrate their centenary season.
They gave a warm welcome to their nearest and fiercest local rivals who are also in their 100th season. It was a proud occasion for the Seasiders, but on the field of play the Fishermen did not stick to the script and snatched the three points with a dramatic late penalty.
Like many keenly fought local derbies with so much pride at stake, the game wasn't the best of sporting spectacles although there was plenty of goalmouth action.
Seaton made the early showing with a sixth minute strike from Josh French from distance which Beer keeper Elliot Driver handled safely.
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Until he was forced off with injury in the second period, French continued to pose a threat to the Fishermen often being allowed too much space in and around the edge of the penalty area and he twice went close to scoring hitting the target from 18-yards out.
The Seasiders could however have been in real trouble on 12 minutes when their keeper, George Best, came off his line and clattered into Finley Rooke just outside the penalty area when the Beer midfielder was in the clear.
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However, the match official adjudged that Best was not the last man and so the glovesman escaped a red card, and the goalkeeper then saved Chris Long's well-struck free kick.
The Fishermen's best chance of the first half came on 14 minutes when, after a slick interchange of passes, Josh Lund found himself clear on goal, but his effort from 12 yards flew high and wide.
Then Chris Long went desperately close on two occasions, first when his 25-yarder hit the crossbar, followed by a chip from 30 yards out which caught Best off his line, but drifted just wide.
The Seasiders finished the first period strongly, creating several good chances. On 31 minutes French broke down the left, found an arriving midfield player with a square pass and his deflected shot was touched round the post by Driver.
Then, on 37 minutes Driver parried a Will House effort which the lurking French again picked up, but he was thwarted this time by Beer centre back Martin Adkin's desperate block when a goal looked certain.
A minute later, Seaton were again denied a goal when a sweeping shot hit the foot of the post with Driver beaten.
After the break, again it was Seaton who made the early showing but as the half wore on, Beer at last began to retain possession better and play the ball through their young, talented midfield.
The link-up play between defence and midfield improved greatly after attacking wing back Jack Prior had been introduced just after half-time.
On 57 minutes, Long went close when his header from Liam Cox's driven cross struck the upright.
One minute later Taylor Rooke missed the target after Giles Basson set him up after an incisive run. On 65 minutes Beer were again off target when Long hooked his 12-yarder wide after a good passing interchange between Prior and George Harwood created the opportunity.
The game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw, but their was to be late drama when, with five minutes remaining, Seaton almost snatched victory when Lewis Cottam's 25-yard strike cannoned back off the crossbar.
Then a minute later, Beer were awarded a penalty when Finley Rooke was the victim of a late challenge inside the Seaton penalty area and Charley Skilton coolly slotted home the spot kick to give Beer the win.
For the Fishermen, centre backs Martin Adkin and Liam Cox were outstanding, but Seaton defender Bradley Conway was the Man of the Match.
Beer bosses, Rooke and Potter had words of praise for the whole team effort and singled out Beer's young midfield trio of Finley and Taylor Rooke and Charley Skilton for winning a tough midfield battle through their skill, determination and composure.
This Saturday (October 5), Beer first team entertain Premier Division newcomers Chagford (3pm) and the match sponsor is Practical Car & Van Rental at Musbury Garage.
Beer second team, who drew 1-1 at home to Alphington thirds on Saturday, travel into Exeter for a swift return with the Alphas (3pm).