Beer Albion 2nds made it six points from two starts with a hard-earned 2-0 home win against East Budleigh in front of 60 spectators, writes Richard Honnor.
It was a case of sweet revenge for the Fishermen as the Blue Jays had completed the double over them last season.
But the Fishermen had to graft for their reward against opponents who played some fine attacking football but lacked finishing power on the day.
Playing into a fierce wind, Beer were pegged back in the early stages but they absorbed early pressure with centre backs Shaun Denslow and Jack Harwood prominent.
The Fishermen were gifted their first goal on 31 minutes, against the run of play, thanks to an error from the East Budleigh keeper.
The glovesman, who otherwise had a fine game, misjudged the bounce of Jamie Walker’s near-post cross from the right and the ball squeezed into the net.
The Blue Jays came back strongly and Fishermen’s keeper Elliot Driver had to be alert to push a well-struck free kick from 20 yards over the crossbar.
But Beer were now getting a stronger foothold in the game and on 40 minutes they almost increased their lead when Richard Walker picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and rattled the crossbar from 20 yards.
After the break, the Beer had the advantage of a strong back wind but they often played too deep, allowing East Budleigh time and space to build their football from the back.
Apart from a 56th-minute Josh Lund effort which forced a fine save from the East Budleigh keeper, Beer were having to work hard to preserve their narrow lead.
East Budleigh’s best chance to date came on 69 minutes after they carved through the Beer defence only for Driver to thwart the left winger’s 15-yard effort with a fine save.
On 79 minutes, the Fishermen had a lucky escape when a looping right-wing cross struck the inside of the far post only to be scrambled off the line by Richard Walker and then parried away by keeper Driver.
The Blue Jays were getting increasingly frustrated at their failure to get on level terms, resulting in a somewhat harsh sending-off for Alex Manning on 83 minutes after he received a second yellow card.
Beer cashed in immediately when Lund chased a high ball through the middle and cleverly lobbed the advancing keeper from 14 yards to seal the visitors’ fate.
There were some fine performances from East Budleigh’s creative midfielders Hugo Demetre and Will Price, and central defender Joe Thompson.
For Beer, Brooklyn Wilkins worked tirelessly in the middle of the park but, on behalf of sponsor Pecorama,
Beer’s central defender Jack Harwood received the man-of-the-match award.
On Saturday, October 3, Beer 1sts are back in Premier East action with a home game against Lyme Regis.
Kick-off at the Furzebrake is at 3pm and the match sponsor is Marine House at Beer.
Meanwhile, in the Joma Devon and Exeter League Division One East, Beer 2nds are away at Lympstone 1sts.[asp_product id=”17531″]