July 30 2016 20:15:09.
By Keith Long
- Pre-Season Activity (First Team Part 2)
Continuing the build-up to the new season Beechfield United were involved in two more highly competitive friendly matches. In midweek Beechy were away to Elton Vale and producing a ten goal thriller that finished 5-5 both teams were credited with top-quality performances. On a first class pitch Vale were soon on the attack and had the luxury of taking the lead in the 9th minute. But Beechy soon found an equaliser via Jamie Sinnott who scored direct from a corner, the ball hitting the inside of the post before bouncing into the net. In a congested midfield area both Mike Pythian and Chris Ferris were constantly involved as United created some great counter-attacking moves. Vales No8 playing out wide on the right flank delivered several pinpoint crosses into the area causing real problems for United’s defenders and keeper Luke Johnston and after forcing another corner Vale regained the lead. There was a frantic pace to the game with both teams competing fiercely for possession and Beechy drew level again through Kurtis Lee who powered home a header following a corner for 2-2. Producing a great piece of skill was Alfie Belcher who casually set-up the chance for Jamie Sinnott and United’s No7 timed his run into area and put Beechy ahead courtesy of a close range finish. The fast action continued in the second half and Beechy went 4-2 up on fifty minutes when Chris Ferris supplied a superb lofted pass over the last defender and beating the offside trap was Rob Lockley who neatly side footed the ball past the keeper. Slightly against the run of play United gift wrapped Vale a third goal then after forcing three successive corners Vale made 4-4 via their No10. Suddenly under pressure United’s back four including Man of the Match Mike Rogerson relied heavily on some vital last ditch tackles and first time clearances. A cleverly disguised pass by Jamie Sinnott found substitute Callum Davies and he scored at the second attempt to put Beechy 5-4 ahead. Elton Vale robbed United of a victory with an equalising fifth goal in the 87th minute.
Beechy then played Altrincham Hale a new team to the Manchester Football League at Salford Sports Village and despite an impressive all-round display were held to a 1-1 draw. During a frantic opening quarter hour, the visitors soon showed their ability as they moved the ball around with real confidence on the artificial surface. An effort from Jamie Sinnott was kept out by the keeper and though Rob Lockley easily netted the rebound he was stood in an offside position. Altrincham Hale had an appeal for a penalty turned down but overall in the first half they hardly forced a save from United Keeper Luke Johnston. It remained 0-0 at half time but Beechy quickly found their rhythm and should have gone ahead but they continually failed to find the finish to some superb high-powered soccer. On 59 minutes United won a penalty after a foul on Rob Lockley who took the spot-kick himself but the Hale keeper made a fine save with his left hand. This seemed to inspire the visitors who forced Beechy to defend deeper in their own half and Gary Wallis and Pat Beckett were key figures in United’s back four. Altrincham Hale grabbed the lead in the 68th minute when slack marking in the area allowed a free close range header for the visitors No10. United continued to produce some brilliant football but once again the final pass let them down until the 76th minute when a cross from Rob Lockley was met by Callum Davies who slotted the ball past the keeper for a deserved equaliser. The fast pace never relented and were decent chances for both teams inside the last ten minutes.