Walker nets late goal to bag Beer important points

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion chalked up only a their fourth win of the season, defeating bottom-of-the-table Willand Rovers 2-1 in the Fresha League Premier Division at the Furzebrake on Saturday writes Richard Honnor.

It was a close contest with both sides showing lots of spirit and endeavour and in the end the difference between the teams came down to two moments of real quality from Beer’s front men Luke Bartlett and Richard Walker.

The visitors arrived with 10 men, no manager and no linesman, but to their great credit they went hard at Beer from the start.

The Fishermen as has often been the case this season started tentatively and went behind after only five minutes when keeper Steve Jones’ attempted clearance was charged down by a Willand forward.

The ball rebounded to another Willand player on the edge of the penalty area who calmly chipped the ball into the top right hand corner with Jones stranded.

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For the next 15 minutes, the visitors played the better football as Beer failed to get any quality possession. But, on 20 minutes, the Fishermen equalised when player-manager Walker controlled keeper Jones’ long clearance and flicked the ball through to Bartlett who scored with a rasping shot into the top right corner.

Willand continued to retain the ball better than the home side but without producing any real threat in the final third.

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As the half wore on Walker and Bartlett who have rarely played together began to link up well and on 37 minutes Walker shot straight at the keeper after neat interplay between the two strikers. Two minutes later midfielder Pedro Fontes went close from long range as Beer started to get on top.

Just before half time, Willand’s 11th man showed up, but the Fishermen began the second half more confidently.

On 55 minutes following a great passing move between Walker and new signing Ben Vine, Kieren Love hit a fierce left-footer narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

Five minutes later, the tireless Bartlett pressurised the visitors defence to create a chance for himself but toe-poked the ball wide. By this time, Willand were creating little impression as the Beer midfield began to dominate with Vine settling in well to his new surroundings.

However, the Albion were struggling to convert their superiority into goals and were occasionally guilty of taking too many touches instead of firing shots on goal from good positions.

The winning goal came on 70 minutes when Vine found Walker with a long pass. The Beer striker had timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap and scored from 15 yards with a great curling finish into the top corner.

The visitors fought hard to the final whistle and gave the Fishermen’s defence a couple of uncomfortable moments, but Beer held out for a welcome three points.

Sponsor Morgan Heating’s Man of the Match award went to Luke Bartlett, but he was well-supported by Richard Walker, Ben Vine and Kieren Love.

This Saturday (March 19), Beer travel to Heavitree United.

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