August 26 2016 11:21:05.
By Keith Long
- Moral Boosting Win For Beechy First Team
In the Manchester Football League Beechfield United’s First Team celebrated their first Division 1 victory of the season thanks to a quality all-round performance that earned a fully deserved 3-2 away win over Westbury Sports. United who were forced to make team changes kicked-off the match with defender Luke Johnston as stand-in keeper. With a strong wind in their favour Westbury quickly built attacks down both flanks forcing some brave defending from full backs Tyler Cooke and Mike Rogerson. After soaking up more pressure in the opening eighteen minutes United displayed a lot more conviction with Man of the Match Chris Ferris, Mike Phythian and Steven Erskine enjoying a greater share of the ball in midfield but Beechy went a goal down on twenty-eight minutes. But there was some doubt regarding the goal because when the ball was crossed from the right wing into the area the Westbury number ten appeared to be standing in an offside position before he turned the ball into the net. Working hard in all areas United created some promising counter-attacks and a few chances were on offer created by skilful play from both Alfie Belcher and Jamie Sinnott but Beechy still found themselves a goal down at the break. Westbury threatened to increase their lead early in the second half and their number eight missed an easy chance when left unmarked in the area. The Westbury keeper dropped the ball under pressure but reacted well to save Jamie Sinnott’s close range effort as United stepped up a gear. A blatant foul on Alfie Belcher won Beechy a penalty and Mike Phythian equalised via a well-executed spot-kick after fifty-five minutes. The strong gusty wind continued to partly spoil the contest but United suddenly injected more pace into their attacks and efforts by Tyler Cooke and Alex Hunter were just off target then on seventy-five minutes Beechy took the lead. The best move of the match involved Jamie Sinnott and Mike Phythian who used his pace to get into a great position before hammering the ball low past the keeper. Still a threat going forward Westbury forced some important defending from Beechy and Gary Wallis was a key figure in United’s back four and against the run of play the home side made it 2-2 on eighty-three minutes. But United snatched the victory in the 88th minute thanks to Alex Hunter’s close range finish.
Four days earlier Beechy had suffered their fourth successive defeat following an evening away fixture against Heyside FC. On a 3G Astro Pitch United went a goal down after just five minutes when the referee awarded Heyside a dubious penalty for handball. Despite moving the ball around with a greater urgency Beechy found it difficult to breakdown a well organised Heyside defence. Wasting possession early in the first half frustrated United’s players but Heyside took advantage and dictating the pace of the game on the artificial surface went 2-0 up on twenty-one minutes. At the end of a move down the left flank a swerving low drive by Heyside’s No10 was misjudged by Beechy keeper Jordan Broxson and the home team’s No7 was left with an easy finish then five minutes later Heyside thought they had scored a third goal but their number eight was caught in an offside position. United reduced the arrears on thirty-five minutes when an accurate crossfield pass by Mike Phythian found Alex Hunter on the right wing and he neatly set-up Rob Lockley who beat the keeper from about eight yards. Beechy were better organised in the second half and displaying more aggression outplayed their opponents for long periods. The Heyside keeper made a fine save to deny Kurtis Lee a goal and both Rob Lockley and Jamie Sinnott had chances to equalise. United trailed 3-1 after sixty-three minutes and during a late attacking surge by Heyside Man of the Match Mike Rogerson was outstanding in United’s back four. Beechy continued to push players forward as they attacked non-stop but they couldn’t find the finish to more top-class soccer.