October 18 2017 14:14:49.
By Keith Long
- Disappointed 1st Team Suffer Trophy Defeat
In action in the Manchester FA Saturday Challenge Trophy Beechfield United 1st Team players and officials were left feeling rather deflated following their quarter-final tie away to East Manchester. On their opponents 4G Astroturf Pitch United produced a brilliant first half display and at one stage held a fully deserved 2-0 lead but helped by a couple of dubious decisions by the match officials East Manchester via a late winning goal snatched a 3-2 victory. Both teams play in the Manchester Football League and Beechy from Division 1 were obviously expecting a tough game against their Premier Division opponents. United kicked-off the tie and quickly settling into a good rhythm created some first-class attacking football with Steven Erskine in midfield heavily involved. East Manchester's first real direct move developed down the left flank but the attack broke down following a well timed tackle by Mike Rogerson on the host's No3. A free kick launched deep into area by East Manchester's No6 was easily dealt with by United keeper Robert Harrison in the sixth minute. Two long range efforts from Jamie Sinnott flew over the crossbar then Beechy's No9 wasted a great chance after a superb move involving Chris Ferris and Jordan Jones-Waite.
Playing with real confidence and aggression United forced numerous mistakes from their opponents and Beechy took a deserved lead on the quarter-hour mark. A loose ball in midfield by the East Manchester No8 was quickly controlled by Jordan Jones-Waite who brilliantly set-up Jamie Sinnott and this time the United ace goal scorer kept his composure when he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the empty net. Any threat of a quick equaliser for East Manchester was thwarted by some solid and no nonsense defending from United's defensive quartet of Rob Lockley, Tim Taylor and Luke Johnston. Beechy continued to produced some top-quality soccer on the artificial surface and on thirty four minutes Craig Massey had a chance to score but after collecting an angled pass from Steven Erskine he fired the ball straight at the keeper. But a few minutes later United did go 2-0 up when Mike Rogerson won possession before supplying an accurate pass onto Jordan Jones-Waite who raced down the right flank and Beechy's Man of the Match delivered a perfect low cross for Jamie Sinnott who after arriving at the back post slid the ball low into the net.
In the 42nd minute United were dealt a cruel blow when the referee awarded the hosts a dubious penalty after deciding Rob Lockley had fouled an opponent just inside the area and East Manchester's No11 fired the ball low past Robert Harrison from the resulting spot-kick. There was a lively start by Beechy to the second half and Jamie Sinnott thought he had netted a hat-trick goal but he had strayed into an offside position before receiving the ball. East Manchester made an early substitution and gradually they enjoyed a greater share of the ball forcing more defending from United and both Tim Taylor and Rob Lockley both made vital headed clearances when under pressure. Following clever footwork by Jamie Sinnott there was a chance created for Carl Ravenscroft who had overlapped down the left flank but he hammered the ball wide of the target. The East Manchester No9 produced numerous good runs off the ball and after he won his team a corner Robert Harrison made a fine reaction save.
After a slight lull in the match the pace soon quickened and United faced some unwanted pressure as East Manchester found a better attacking rhythm and their No9 missed an easy chance with a close range header. United made a tactic change when Louis Duff replaced Craig Massey but their free flowing football seen in the first half was sadly missing. Robert Harrison rescued United again with a great one handed save following another East Manchester corner and just after Kurtis Lee took over from Jordan Jones-Waite the hosts were back level at 2-2. Producing only isolated attacks Beechy were ready to settle for a draw and force a penalty shoot-out (as per competition rules extra time was not required) but East Manchester had other ideas and keeping the pressure on United forced a late match winning goal following a goalmouth scramble inside the last three minutes.