February 16 2017 17:24:11.
By Keith Long
- Just A Draw But First Team Deserved Much More
Beechfield United stretched their current unbeaten run to four games following a 1-1 draw with Bolton County and the one point gained kept Beechy in ninth place in the Division 1 table. At Salford Sports Village the visitors kicked-off this Manchester Football League fixture but playing a 4-3-3 system it was United who created the early scoring opportunities. Kurtis Lee was inches away from latching onto an accurate long ball from Carl Ravenscroft then at the end of a powerful surging run Alfie Belcher just couldn't find the correct angled pass as he attempted to set-up an unmarked teammate. Mike Phythian was constantly involved in midfield as United played with total confidence but County slowly found a good attacking rhythm and in the ninth minute Beechy keeper Robert Harrison produced a superb save to deny the visitors number three the opening goal.
There was a fast pace to the match and using the counter-attack to good effect Beechy always looked capable of getting a goal. Bolton County forced a few corners following several top-class moves and in the first twenty minutes both teams enjoyed an equal share of the ball. A quality move involving Alfie Belcher, Rob Lockley and Kurtis Lee deserved a better finish when the latter fired the ball wide of the target. United's defensive quartet of Andrzej Browne, Mike Rogerson, Gary Wallis and Carl Ravenscroft dealt comfortably with any pressure County created but on one occasion a looping header from the unmarked visitors number eleven dropped just over the crossbar. Chris Ferris who had another terrific game in midfield produced a superb through ball for Alfie Belcher who got himself into a great position but the Beechy youngster hammered the ball just wide.
County's number eleven who was their best player thought he had given his team the lead though the alert Robert Harrison rescued Beechy with a fine reaction save. But just ninety seconds before the referee blew for half time Bolton County went 1-0 up courtesy of a headed goal by their centre forward. Making a promising start to the second half United worked hard to get back on level terms but County almost added a second goal after clever play by their number ten who from close range wasted a decent chance. During another period of top-quality teamwork from Beechy both Kurtis Lee and Jamie Sinnott came close to an equaliser and the latter saw plenty of the ball and was always involved via numerous incisive runs down the right flank. Team Manager Steven Erskine replaced Kurtis Lee in the 64th minute and went straight into a midfield position.
Played in a good spirit the match was controlled very efficiently by referee Simon Holt who's sensible approach meant he kept his red and yellow cards in his pocket. Forcing some vital defending from their opponents United were eventually rewarded with a fully deserved equalising goal after seventy five minutes. Following a blatant foul on Alfie Belcher that appeared to have been committed inside the area the referee from his position on the pitch decided the offence happened outside the area. From the resulting free kick Jamie Sinnott with his twenty second goal so far this season produced the highlight of the match.
County assembled their defensive wall but via a spectacular strike Jamie hammered the ball through the wall and past a helpless keeper into the corner of the net. Beechy made a second tactical change when Louis Duff took over from Andrzej Browne and that resulted in Mike Phythian taking up the role of right back. County suddenly played at a higher tempo and threatened to regain the lead but United's back four including Man of the Match Mike Rogerson were superbly organised. In the last ten minutes Jamie Sinnott, Rob Lockley, Alfie Belcher and Chris Ferris were involved in some brilliant attacking soccer by Beechy but a deserved winning goal remained elusive.