March 15 2017 16:12:04.
By Keith Long
- 3-0 Down United Recover To Win 4-3
Beechfield United First Team were involved in a seven goal thriller when they entertained Altrincham Hale on Saturday 11th March 2017 at Salford Sports Village. United stretched their impressive unbeaten run in the Manchester Football League to six games but they did it the hard way coming back from 3-0 to claim a 4-3 victory. The three points gained moved Beechy up to sixth place in the Division 1 table. United made a positive start to the match and forced a couple of throw-in's and an effort by Jamie Sinnott forced an early save from the tall Hale keeper. At the end of the visitors first real attack Hale's number four tested United keeper Robert Harrison who had another top-class game despite conceding three goals. In a congested midfield area Man of the Match Chris Ferris, Mike Phythian and Rob Lockley grafted non-stop to win possession against their well organised opponents. Another excellent swift counter-attack by Altrincham Hale almost created a goal scoring opportunity but a great piece of defending by Mike Rogerson kept it at 0-0.
A couple of minutes later the visitors number fifteen saw an audacious attempt from outside the area drop over the crossbar. Hale took the lead on the quarter-hour mark when a mishit half volley from twenty five yards found it's way into the corner of the net. Keeping the pressure on United the visitors slowly controlled the match and struggling to get a foothold in the contest Beechy found themselves 2-0 down. The referee awarded Hale a dubious free kick and off his right foot the visitors No16 superbly curled the ball over the defensive wall and into the net. Two long range efforts from Rob Lockley sailed over the crossbar then the Altrincham Hale keeper made an acrobatic save following a powerful strike from the edge of the area by Alfie Belcher. On twenty nine minutes United were dealt a real hammer blow when Hale went 3-0 up after the visitors number four's accurate low cross found an unmarked team mate at the back post and he was gifted an easy close range finish.
Long accurate kicks by the Hale keeper continually put extra pressure on United's back four of Mike Rogerson, Gary Wallis, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft. Beechy reduced the arrears in the 36th minute via a slick move involving Jamie Sinnott, Louis Duff and Alfie Belcher who perfectly timed his run into the area to meet Louis's pinpoint cross and hammer the ball into the net from five yards. Altrincham Hale nearly added a fourth goal as they continued to launch some powerful attacks but Beechy who defended with more authority were rewarded with their second goal after 40 minutes. Louis Duff's perfectly weighted corner kick was met Jamie Sinnott who got to the ball just before an Hale defender and power it into the roof of the net. Steven Erskine and Tim Taylor delivered a vital half time team talk and displaying more aggression United made a cracking start to the second half. There was better movement off the ball and Chris Ferris, Mike Phythian and Rob Lockley got a tighter grip of the midfield, but Robert Harrison was still kept busy and on one occasion produced a vital save following another well executed free kick by the visitors number sixteen.
A looping header from Louis Duff dropped inches past the post with the keeper stranded as United enjoyed a greater share of the ball. In this thrilling contest United's equalising goal was courtesy of a spectacular finish by Jamie Sinnott who netted his twenty fourth goal of the season. Jamie was denied a hat-trick minutes later when the agile Hale keeper somehow managed to push the ball over the crossbar. The match had become a real nail biter as play switched quickly from end to end and a great effort from Alfie Belcher went just wide then a superb solo run by Mike Phythian just lacked the perfect finish. Hale found fresh impetus and influenced by their number eight who had a terrific game in midfield the visitors still gave Beechy defensive problems and both Gary Wallis and Luke Johnston rescued Beechy with some vital clearances when under pressure. Craig Massey replaced Alfie Belcher and Tom Allcock who was making his 1st Team debut got a huge piece of the action when he replaced Mike Phythian.
United's match winning goal arrive in the 75th minute via a brilliant move when Carl Ravenscroft won possession just inside his own half then sent a long pass onto Jamie Sinnott and United's leading goal scorer quickly moved the ball across Tom Allcock then the substitute flicked the ball onto Rob Lockley who hammered it past the keeper. Altrincham Hale produced an immediate reply creating some impressive counter-attacks and the visitors number fifteen seemed certain to score but he was denied an equaliser when Chris Ferris timed his ball winning tackle to perfection. Both teams still displayed total commitment and both keepers were once again given the opportunity to show their ability in the closing minutes. The Altrincham Hale keeper made a superb save to keep out Jamie Sinnott's thunderous drive and Robert Harrison produced two great pieces of goalkeeping within a three minute spell. He displayed great timing when gathering the ball following a corner kick then in a one-on-one with an Hale forward who had beaten the offside trap made a strong but fair tackle to win the ball.