September 14 2017 20:33:45.
By Keith Long
- Superb Display But Winning Run Ended
There was real disappointment etched on the faces of Beechfield United's 1st Team players after they suffered a 2-0 defeat following their Murray Trophy group away game with Manchester Central. Three weeks earlier when the teams met in a Division 1 fixture United beat their opponents by the same score line so Beechy were confident of repeating the feat. But despite a superb display United's winning start to the season in the Manchester Football League came to an end. Beechy who kicked-off the tie had made one change from last weeks line-up that saw Chris Ferris replacing Louis Duff who was unavailable. Assisted by long kicks from their keeper Manchester Central quickly put some pressure on United's back three of Tim Taylor, Rob Lockley and Luke Johnston. In reply Beechy gradually found their attacking rhythm with Jamie Sinnott and Jordan Jones-Waite making some intelligent runs off the ball and Mike Rogerson and Andrzej Browne constantly overlapping down the flanks.
Thankfully the artificial surface helped with the flow of the game during a torrential downpour early in the contest and with both teams playing at a frantic pace the referee had a busy time dealing with a few off the ball incidents. Chris Ferris, Gary Wallis and Mike Phythian worked hard in midfield but despite a few chances on offer Beechy hadn't been able to make the breakthrough in the first twenty minutes. In quick succession Jordan Jones-Waite and Jamie Sinnott had shots blocked by some last-ditch defending while at the other end Manchester Central were denied a goal as United defended superbly. But in the 38th minute the hosts grabbed the lead though there was a suspicion of offside when a deep cross into the area was flicked on by a team mate to Manchester Central's No10 who got the final touch to send the ball into the net. A scrappy period of play developed as United searched for an equaliser but it was Manchester Central who almost scored again after their No9 hammered the ball onto the crossbar following a corner.
During a lively opening period to the second half Beechy carelessly wasted possession in key areas of the pitch. But this was soon rectified after a slick move between Gary Wallis, Mike Phythian and Jordan Jones-Waite set-up Jamie Sinnott who's effort flashed just wide of the target. Attacking down both flanks Manchester Central played better in the second half but Tim Taylor, Rob Lockley and Luke Johnston gave good protection to United keeper Robert Harrison. Another quick passing move involving Gary Wallis and Andrzej Browne nearly put Beechy back level but the Manchester Central keeper pulled off a fine save. Minutes later Beechy made a double substitution when player/manager Steven Erskine and Craig Massey replaced Chris Ferris and Gary Wallis. There was a decent chance for Craig Massey as United enjoyed more of the ball but he sent his effort over the crossbar after clever play on the left flank by Andrzej Browne.
But Beechy were dealt a cruel blow on sixty eight minutes as a swift counter-attack by Manchester Central ended with their No9 netting their second goal. Shortly after the goal United made another tactical change when Kurtis Lee took over from Jordan Jones-Waite. Playing some brilliant football at times United put constant pressure on their opponents as they attacked non-stop in the last fifteen minutes and created numerous chances the best of which were on offer to Man of the Match Mike Phythian, Craig Massey and Kurtis Lee.
Team: Robert Harrison, Mike Rogerson, Tim Taylor, Rob Lockley, Luke Johnston, Andrzej Browne, Chris Ferris, Gary Wallis, Mike Phythian, Jordan Jones-Waite, Jamie Sinnott. Substitutes: Steven Erskine, Craig Massey, Kurtis Lee.