April 03 2018 15:37:38.
By Keith Long
- United Celebrate Quick Winning Double
For the second time in seven days Beechfield United's 1st Team played Leigh Athletic and achieved a quick winning double. Producing a stunning all-round performance United celebrated a 3-0 away win and went eight points clear at the top of the Division 1 table. Weather conditions were more favourable compared with the previous Saturday when this Manchester League fixture kicked-off. United made three team changes and on their opponents artificial surface were forced to do some early defending and keeper Robert Harrison was soon involved in the action. The first real chance to open the scoring was wasted by the Leigh Athletic No9 who at the end of a solo run blazed the ball over the crossbar. A couple of minutes later Jamie Sinnott suffered the similar fate after he attempted to score via a free kick from 25 yards. As expected the game was of a highly competitive nature and courtesy of another quick counter-attack Leigh Athletic again came close to going ahead after their No8 & No4 linked up in a neat move on the left flank.
After winning the ball in the central area of midfield Steven Erskine delivered a brilliant forward pass onto Kurtis Lee who saw his effort hit the side netting. United were dealt a cruel blow in the 11th minute when central defender Tim Taylor suffered a serious knee injury and took he no further part in the game. In a quick reshuffle Rob Lockley dropped back into defence and substitute Louis Duff joined the action operating in a wing back role. Another perfectly weighted pass by Steven Erskine set-up a chance for Jamie Sinnott who forced a corner that was confidently dealt with by the Leigh Athletic keeper. When play switched to the other end of the pitch again the hosts No9 got into a clear shooting position and looked certain to score but Robert Harrison responded with a world class save. Mike Rogerson, Rob Lockley and Matthew McNally were forced to produce some last-ditch defending as Leigh Athletic maintained a constant flow of powerful attacks. But Beechy always replied with some positive attacking soccer and a superb long ball from Mike Rogerson sent Kurtis Lee racing clear but United's main striker couldn't force the ball past the advancing keeper.
Following a free kick Craig Massey won possession outside the area then quickly moved the ball onto Jamie Sinnott who's first time effort hit the post. Another free kick awarded to Beechy was quickly taken by Matthew McNally and a Leigh Athletic defender nearly deflected the ball into his own net. Leigh's No9 was frustrated once again when he wasted another decent chance from the edge of the area. United took the lead after thirty eight minutes when Jamie Sinnott combined with Louis Duff who's pinpoint curling cross eventually found Kurtis Lee at the back post and he slammed the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Jamie Sinnott almost gave Beechy a two goal lead at the break but a brilliant save by Leigh's keeper kept out his thunderous low drive. As the second half unfolded the match continued at a frantic pace and a slick move involving Craig Massey and Jamie Sinnott created a fair chance for Louis Duff and he side footed the ball just over the crossbar. Then Louis made a great tackle to win possession and played the ball across to Matthew McNally who hammered his shot wide of the target. Via some fine counter-attacks Leigh Athletic forced Beechy to work hard to retain their one goal advantage and there was more top-quality defending from Mike Rogerson, Matthew McNally and Man of the Match Rob Lockley who won a large percentage of the aerial duels.
The Leigh Athletic No8 came close to an equaliser when finishing off a move down the right flank he blasted the ball over the angle of post and crossbar. Kurtis Lee was replaced by Jordan Jones-Waite on the hour mark and United's second substitute was soon involved glancing a header onto Jamie Sinnott. Beechy's No9 forced a corner off the keeper and his flag kick was met in a crowded area by Louis Duff who timed his run to perfection and his powerful header put United 2-0 up as the ball nestled in the back of the net. More solid defending for United limited the hosts to just a handful of chances as Leigh Athletic enjoyed another spell of possession. The Leigh Athletic No10 was twice off target with shots from close range prior to the referee awarding United a penalty for handball. Jordan Jones-Waite was given the responsibility of taking the spot-kick and he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to guarantee Beechy the win in the 76th minute. Late in the game the Leigh Athletic No7 got clear on the edge of the area but fired the ball into the hands of Robert Harrison then the hosts No10 headed over the crossbar following a corner. United's final substitution saw Craig Massey replaced by Marcus Belcher who could have made it 4-0 after being set-up Jordan Jones-Waite.