August 23 2018 16:45:01.
By Keith Long
- United Fall By The Heyside
The 1st Teams impressive start to the season on Saturday 11th August seemed a distant memory when three days later they met Heyside FC away in a evening fixture. Obviously looking for a repeat performance following their Premier Division opener against Springhead, Beechy struggled to contain an experienced Heyside outfit and suffered a 4-1 defeat. Despite having to make three team changes United looked highly confident straight from the kick-off and a promising move quickly developed between Marcus Belcher and Carl Ravenscroft. The hosts created a couple of counter-attacks down both flanks and Mike Rogerson then Chris Ferris made vital clearances. Another great move featuring Mike Phythian, Rob Lockley and Jamie Sinnott engineered a chance for Carl Ravenscroft but he volleyed the ball over the crossbar. Keeping the pressure on their opponents Beechy were awarded a penalty in the 11th minute after Louis Duff was blatantly fouled by Heyside's No4 but the keeper saved Mike Phythian's spot-kick.
Play quickly switched to the other end of the pitch and a pinpoint cross by Heyside's No9 found his teammate wearing the No7 shirt but his header was comfortably saved by Rob Harrison. Minutes later the home side opened the scoring though United thought Heyside's No8 was clearly in an offside position before he fired the ball into the net. Suddenly Beechy faced intense pressure as Heyside launched some fast and accurate attacks and on three occasions Tim Taylor showed his ability in the air with powerful headed clearances following aerial duels with a physical opponent. Momentarily United saw more of the ball and great play on the right wing by Rob Lockley forced a couple of corners. Due to a piece of slack defending Beechy were punished again when the unmarked hosts No9 via an easy finish put Heyside 2-0 up. Rob Harrison was forced to make a super one handed save after a long ball down the middle sent Heyside's No10 racing clear unchallenged.
Heyside's third goal had an touch of luck attached to it when a low cross skidded off the pitch hit Rob Harrison and rebounded to Heyside's No9 who easily slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Keeping the pressure on United a well organised Heyside team were eager for more goals and Man of the Match Tim Taylor was outstanding in an overworked Beechy defence. At the end of a rare counter-attack a half chance was on offer for Jamie Sinnott but he hammered the ball into the side netting. Following an encouraging half time team talk United made a positive start to the second half and Louis Duff who produced a tireless performance shot wide of the target after a neat move involving Carl Ravenscroft and Marcus Belcher. Substitute Dale Beaumont who had replaced Mike Rogerson at right back was soon involved with two well timed ball winning tackles. On fifty two minutes United found themselves 4-0 down but once again there was hint of offside against Heyside's No8 who supplied the finish to a swift move down the right flank.
Beechy continued to display a good team spirit and despite having to work overtime to retain possession reduced the arrears just after the hour mark. Another terrific move between Marcus Belcher and Carl Ravenscroft was fully rewarded when an accurate cross by the latter was controlled by Mike Phythian who from 25 yards blasted the ball low past the keeper. United briefly played with a bit more freedom but Heyside always controlled the pace of the game as they created more clear-cut chances. It looked odds-on that the Heyside No8 would add to his teams goals tally but Rob Harrison responded with a terrific save then minutes later a world class one-handed save by the Beechy keeper created the highlight of the match. A few counter-attacks encouraged United in the latter stages but Heyside's back four remained rock-solid. Dale Beaumont's long accurate forward pass found Rob Lockley and after a surging run the Beechy man saw his effort clear the crossbar. Louis Duff who thoroughly deserved a goal almost celebrated but somehow an Heyside defender managed to clear the ball before it had fully crossed the line. Heyside kept a tight grip on the match and had chances to add a fifth goal before the final whistle.