November 14 2017 23:27:48.
By Keith Long
- Unbeaten Run Extended After 3-3 Draw
Extending their current unbeaten run in the Manchester Football League to four games Beechfield United 1st Team were happy to settle for just one point following a 3-3 draw away at Atherton Town who were hoping to close the gap on Beechy at the top of the Division 1 table. Expecting a tough ninety minutes United would need to show desire and total commitment against their highly rated opponents. At the end of Beechy's first positive attacking move Jamie Sinnott had strayed into an offside position when he received the ball. There were a couple of first time clearances by Luke Johnston who was under pressure when Atherton Town created two fast attacks down the right flank. Controlling a long ball out of defence the hosts No7 delivered a deep accurate cross and Atherton's No8 sent a header over the crossbar. During a lively opening period the action moved swiftly from end to end and Atherton forced the games first corner that was dealt with superbly by Tim Taylor. United took the lead in the 10th minute following a free kick when Jamie Sinnott curled the ball into the area and Kurtis Lee supplied the finish via a powerful header. But Beechy were soon having to defend again and United keeper Robert Harrison was forced to make a fingertip save after a swerving drive from the Atherton No10 looked to be on it's way into the net.
Rob Lockley forced United's first corner as Beechy worked hard in an effort to extend their lead. The referee was kept busy awarding free kicks galore in this fiercely contested yet entertaining game. Atherton used the full width of their pitch to build more promising moves and Robert Harrison was in action again making two vital saves one following a free kick then he denied Atherton's No9 who was left unmarked in the area. Both teams were totally committed to winning possession and Jamie Sinnott, Kurtis Lee and Rob Lockley came close to making it 2-0 just before the referee awarded Atherton a disputed penalty. The match official's harsh decision was against Luke Johnston and the Atherton No9 made it 1-1 from the resulting spot-kick on forty three minutes. Straight from the restart Atherton soon found a good rhythm and attacking with real menace put heavy pressure on United's defensive trio of Mike Rogerson, Tim Taylor and Luke Johnston.
Enjoying more of the ball Atherton went 2-1 up following another fast flowing move down the right flank and the hosts No9 headed the ball home from close range. But Beechy quickly stepped up a gear and Jamie Sinnott looked certain to score in a one-on-one with the Atherton keeper. Jordan Jones-Waite replaced Craig Massey on the hour mark and three minutes later United were back level after a long pass by Rob Lockley was flicked on By Jamie Sinnott and Kurtis Lee hammered the ball past the keeper for 2-2. From several dead ball situations Atherton Town forced more vital defending from Beechy who led 3-2 after seventy minutes. A quick counter-attack developed involving Chris Ferris in midfield and following neat footwork Jamie Sinnott sent a pinpoint cross into the area and Man of the Match Kurtis Lee completed his hat-trick with another excellent headed goal.
Rob Lockley had a goal disallowed for offside and following the free kick play switched quickly to the other end of the pitch and Atherton's No 11 forced a corner. Kurtis Lee almost got United a fourth goal but he shot wide after a clever pass from Rob Lockley then a couple of minutes later Atherton made it 3-3 though there was a suspicion of offside when the hosts No9 scored from close range. There was still enough time left for both teams to snatch a match winning goal and during the last piece of action Atherton's No5 shot wide following a throw-in.