May 03 2018 21:14:47.
By Keith Long
- 1st Team Rediscover The Winning Formula
Beechfield United's First Team rediscovered the winning formula following an impressive all-round performance that earned Beechy a 5-2 away win over Wilmslow Albion. The hosts home grass pitch was deemed unplayable so this Division 1 fixture was switched to a 3G Astroturf Pitch at a different venue. Weather conditions were ideal for football and during a fast opening period to the match United had a decent share of the ball. Carl Ravenscroft's well timed tackle won possession and his accurate pass found Craig Massey who's high cross was gathered by the Wilmslow keeper. Beechy forced the first corner of the match and Marcus Belcher was just off target when he sent a header over the crossbar. Steven Erskine was heavily involved in the midfield action and he linked up with Rob Lockley, Chris Ferris and Jordan Jones-Waite in another free flowing move that almost produced a goal. Most of Wilmslow's attacks developed down the left wing and the hosts No10 chasing a long raking pass forced United keeper Robert Harrison to boot the ball to safety.
Both teams continued to move the ball around at breathtaking speed and Wilmslow forced some no- nonsense defending from United's back three of Marcus Belcher, Rob Lockley and Luke Johnston. Chances were created by the hosts but Wilmslow's No9 and No11 couldn't add the finish when well positioned inside the area. After nineteen minutes Beechy took the lead through Rob Lockley who controlled a return pass from Craig Massey and from twenty five yards fired the ball past the stranded keeper though the ball took a slight deflection of a Wilmslow defender. But two minutes later the referee was well positioned to award Wilmslow a penalty and the hosts No10 equalised from the resulting spot-kick. United were soon back on the attack and a great move between Louis Duff and Kurtis Lee set-up Jordan Jones-Waite who blasted the ball at the keeper. At times Beechy were guilty of not putting enough pressure on the ball and conceded far too many unnecessary free kicks. A superb through ball by Steven Erskine sent Louis Duff racing past his marker and he won a corner that saw a header by Luke Johnston just missed the target.
Two long range efforts from both Kurtis Lee and Craig Massey came close to giving Beechy the lead again but United had to settle for a 1-1 score line at the break. Just three minutes into the second half Wilmslow Albion went 2-1 up when United lost the ball in midfield and at the end of a fast attack down the right wing the hosts No11 angled the ball low past Robert Harrison into the bottom corner of the net. United produced an instant response and were soon back level via Man of the Match Marcus Belcher who met Louis Duff's flag kick and scored with a powerful header. Then ninety seconds later United led 3-2 after Kurtis Lee sent Jordan Jones-Waite sprinting down the right flank and Beechy's No9 held off a defenders challenge before slotting the ball low past the advancing keeper. United had suddenly stepped up a gear and showed more composure but Wilmslow still threatened to score again following more positive attacking soccer and the hosts had a goal disallowed for offside prior to Beechy's fourth goal after seventy one minutes.
Craig Massey displayed real determination to win the ball and after going past a Wilmslow defender sent a pinpoint cross to the back post and Louis Duff left unmarked had an easy headed finish from close range. Making a couple of tactical changes United's substitutes Tom Allcock and Andrzej Browne replaced Kurtis Lee and Chris Ferris. Facing a late attacking surge from their opponents Beechy defended superbly and there were vital first time clearances from Carl Ravenscroft, Rob Lockley and Luke Johnston. On eight four minutes Tom Allcock chased a poor back pass and in a 50/50 challenge with the keeper won the ball and joyfully tapped the ball into the empty net to complete the scoring and guarantee United the victory.