October 03 2017 20:02:38.
By Keith Long
- Victory Needed But United Draw Trophy Game
Beechfield United First Team were in Murray Trophy action on Saturday 30th September 2017 at Salford Sports Village. This was United's second group game in the competition and though a win against Uppermill FC would have been a bonus Beechy were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw. Heavy rain greeted the players at kick-off and after three minutes of the match United's appeal for a penalty following what appeared to be a foul on Jamie Sinnott was ruled out. A well organised Uppermill outfit produced some lively attacking play moving the ball around with pace and accuracy on the artificial surface. But Beechy were just as precise with their passing and Player Manager Steven Erskine was at the heart of the bulk of United's most fluent moves. Following a jinking run down the left flank by Carl Ravenscroft the ball was in the visitors net but Kurtis Lee was judged to have been in an offside position.
More swift counter-attacks from the visitors heaped some pressure on United's defensive trio of Tim Taylor, Luke Johnston and Mike Rogerson who found time and space to link-up with Rob Lockley to win Beechy their first corner. Two more debatable offside decisions spoiled some fine approach play as Beechy slowly settled into a better rhythm and twice Kurtis Lee worked hard to get into good shooting positions but his efforts were off target. There was a quiet opening twenty minutes for United keeper Robert Harrison but when he was called into action always showed a safe pair of hands. Both teams continued to produce some high quality soccer with Chris Ferris, Craig Massey and Steven Erskine all making some vital ball winning tackles and the latter combined superbly with Rob Lockley who's pinpoint cross was headed over the crossbar by Kurtis Lee.
The second half produced a similar pattern to the first and on fifty three minutes Uppermill grabbed the lead following a rare mistake by Tim Taylor. But two minutes later United's central defender atoned for his error when he timed his run into the area to get on the end of a free kick taken by Jamie Sinnott and fire the ball low into the net to equalise via his first goal of the season. Uppermill who included several young players in the team displayed real enthusiasm throughout the match forcing Beechy to up their game if they wanted to achieve a winning result. Man of the Match Rob Lockley featured heavily in the majority of United's most promising attacks down the right flank. A corner to the visitors created a chance for Uppermill's No16 but a great piece of defending by Luke Johnston kept it at 1-1. On sixty five minutes Beechy made a tactical substitution when Kurtis Lee was replaced by Jordan Jones-Waite who was soon involved forcing a fine save from the Uppermill keeper.
Then Chris Ferris saw his glancing header curl just wide following Jamie Sinnott's deep cross into the area. During a late attacking surge from United a snap shot by Jordan Jones-Waite hit the post then an overhead attempt from Craig Massey bounced off the crossbar. The referee admitted later that he didn't get a clear enough view to award Beechy a match winning goal after Rob Lockley's header was clearly over the line before the Uppermill keeper made an acrobatic save. Just before the final whistle Luke Johnston had United's last real attempt to try an secure victory but his shot from distance flew wide of the target.