December 07 2016 21:53:12.
By Keith Long
- United Remain On Course For Amateur Cup Glory
Beechfield United Saturday Morning Senior Team booked their place in the quarter-final's of the Manchester FA Amateur Cup in what eventually turned out to be an emphatic 6-2 away win over Avro Reserves. Making a confident start to this fourth round tie Beechy should have taken an early two goal lead had both Ian Black and Ben Donohue taken advantage of fairly easy chances. When play switched to the other end of the pitch a well delivered free kick was met by the Avro number nine who was left unmarked but to United's relief he headed the ball wide of the target.
Beechy were stunned when Avro took the lead in the 5th minute after a long range effort by the home teams left back somehow found it's way past United keeper Dan Lee and into the net. Struggling to find a decent rhythm at times United were outplayed by their opponents from the Manchester Football League. The back four of Tom Stott, Daniel Eckersley, Kyle Walton and Damon Whitbread had to soak up some heavy pressure.
Gradually Beechy started to put some accurate passing moves together and Scott Foulds almost forced the ball past the keeper following a neat one-two between Wes Pierce and Kyle Walton. Then a superb effort by John Bolton curled just past the post as United injected a bit more pace into their attacks. Scott Foulds had another good chance of a goal just before Beechy equalised thanks to a brilliant piece of skill and spectacular finish from Wes Pierce. Avro Reserves produced several swift counter-attacks in the closing minutes of the half but United defended superbly especially Man of the Match Kyle Walton.
In the early stages of the second half Avro worked hard to retain possession but displaying renewed confidence United deservedly went 2-1 up after fifty five minutes. Substitute Callum Holmes sprinted clear down the left flank and his pinpoint low cross found Scott Foulds who quickly played the ball onto Kane Branigan and he beat the keeper from close range via a side footed finish. Kane Branigan was at the heart of the action again minutes later combining with John Bolton but Kane's shot on the turn was cleared off the line.
As they continued to create football of the highest quality Beechy dominated the contest and were rewarded with their third goal a stunning volley by John Bolton following a corner on 62 minutes. Producing a mazy run from the halfway line Scott Foulds ghosted past three defenders and set-up John Bolton who fired the ball over the crossbar. Avro were being run ragged and they simply had no answer to United's all-round skill and excellent teamwork. Another move involving Scott Foulds who once again demonstrated great skill with the ball resulted in Beechy taking a 4-1 lead thanks to Kane Branigan's precise right footed finish.
Keeping the pressure on their opponents United always looked capable of scoring more goals following every attack. Avro were expecting to hear the referee's whistle when they appealed for offside but the match official waved play on and Kane Branigan unselfishly moved the ball onto John Bolton and United's number nine netted a simple fifth goal. In the 75th minute Beechy were awarded a penalty after a blatant foul on Scott Foulds and from the resulting spot-kick Kane Branigan made it 6-1 when he completed his hat trick. As they continued to display a high level of fitness United had chances to hit double figures.
Dan Lee who had been virtually a spectator in the second half was suddenly called into action when Beechy relaxed their grip on the match and various Avro players attempted to beat United's keeper with shots from well outside the penalty area. The home side did manage to score a second goal inside the last few minutes.