May 22 2017 00:06:48.
By Keith Long
- United End Impressive Season With A Victory
Beechfield United First Team completed their Manchester Football League Division 1 fixtures for season 2016/2017 at Salford Sports Village when they beat Manchester Central 3-1. Following thirty six games Beechy finished in a respectable sixth place in the table and scored a total of 104 goals. United kicked off the match knowing they faced a fairly tough ninety minutes against their opponents who had lost just one of their previous twelve games. Following a superb solo run Manchester Central's No8 wasted a great opportunity to give the visitors the lead after only two minutes. Gradually enjoying more of the ball Beechy found their attacking rhythm with Mike Phythian and Chris Ferris working non-stop in a congested midfield area. But Manchester Central created a constant flow of counter-attacks and Gary Wallis had a tough task in containing the visitors versatile centre forward.
Involved in a brilliant move were Kurtis Lee, Mike Phythian and Louis Duff who evaded a defenders robust challenge but the Beechy wingers half volley flew wide of the target. Both keepers were kept busy in this entertaining end to end contest and twice in quick succession Robert Harrison who officially retired after the match produced a couple of great saves. Long accurate kicks from the Manchester Central keeper heaped unwanted pressure onto United back four who's aerial ability was tested to the limit. Clever play by Rob Lockley carved out a decent chance for Beechy's top goalscorer Jamie Sinnott just prior to United opening the scoring in the 23rd minute. A superb quick passing move involving Jamie Sinnott set-up Kurtis Lee and the Beechy striker easily outpaced two Manchester Central defenders before producing a clinical finish.
The visitors were denied an instant equaliser when their No7 ran through unchallenged into the area but Robert Harrison rescued United with a world class save. On twenty eight minutes Beechy led 2-0 after a long ball downfield by Gary Wallis was misjudged by a Manchester Central defender and the alert Kurtis Lee neatly brought the ball under control and fired it low past the keeper. With several talented players on view Manchester Central continued to create some first-class soccer and reduced the arrears thanks to neat footwork and an accurate finish from the visitors number seven. Having to deal with several free kicks awarded to their opponents Beechy responded with some excellent defending that guaranteed they were still 2-1 up at the break. As the second half developed the pace of the game remained fairly frantic and quickly into their stride United created several half chances.
After working hard to create the correct angle Jamie Sinnott delivered a pinpoint cross and a header by Kurtis Lee forced a fine save from the Manchester Central keeper. When play switched to the other end of the pitch an effort from the visitors No11 looked to have found the net but Robert Harrison managed to push the ball onto the post and to safety. Several times Beechy ruined promising moves from the visitors via a well operated offside tactic and Gary Wallis and Andrzej Browne were key figures in United's back four. Briefly United were guilty of wasting possession and their one goal advantage always looked under threat but more solid defending continued to deny Manchester Central's hopes of winning the match. Kurtis Lee was replaced by Alfie Belcher and the substitute was soon involved creating a chance for Jamie Sinnott who hammered the ball wide of the target.
Making another tactical change United Team Manager Steven Erskine took over from Gary Wallis with Rob Lockley taking up a defensive role. The visitors also made a couple of substitutions and continued to demonstrate their ability to change defence into attack via more slick passing moves. Producing a superb solo run from close to the halfway line was Alfie Belcher who's powerful swerving strike bounced back into play off the crossbar. United made their third substitution on 75minutes that saw Tom Allcock replacing Louis Duff and more chances were on offer as Beechy continued to display a terrific work rate and United were rewarded with their third goal after 82minutes. Andrzej Browne won the ball with a perfectly timed challenge and his accurate long pass was controlled by Jamie Sinnott who neatly set-up Tom Allcock and he coolly side footed it past the keeper into the corner of the net. Manchester Central created a late attacking surge but United held firm and fully deserved their victory.