April 23 2019 22:30:58.
By Keith Long
- 1st Team's Final League Game Finishes 0-0
With their Premier Division place for next season in doubt Beechfield United 1st Team were confident of securing three points when they met Old Alts at home on Saturday 13th April. In a match that saw both defences on top for the majority of the ninety minutes a goals feast never developed and Beechy had to settle for a 0-0 draw. United keeper Robert Harrison dealt with early attacks from the visitors who quickly produced the long ball option from both full backs. Old Alts early attacking threat tested United's back four Mike Rogerson, Luke Johnston, Marcus Belcher and Carl Ravenscroft but the Beechy boys responded with some excellent defending. Eager to score the first goal Beechy made a few unforced errors but this didn't effect them too much and the Old Alts keeper needed to stay focused when he dealt with Jamie Sinnott's well struck volley. Louis Duff went close to giving United the lead when he met Jamie's flag kick but the Beechy youngster headed the ball into the side netting. A strong gusty wind blowing down the centre of the pitch failed to ruin the flow of the match as Beechy gradually became more composed when in possession.
In his right wing back role Gareth Mooney was just one of several United players who saw a lot of the ball in the early stages as Beechy gradually upped their overall work rate. A free kick awarded to Beechy led to a goalmouth scramble and in quick succession two superb saves from the Old Alts keeper foiled attempts to force the ball into net by Marcus Belcher and Jamie Sinnott. Old Alts were quickly back on the attack and after they won a free kick United keeper Robert Harrison showed his ability with an agile one handed save. Twice the visitors had decent chances to take the lead but their No11 and No8 were well off target with long range efforts and following more top-quality defending from both teams it was no real surprise to see a 0-0 score line at the break. Early in the second half a tight offside decision against United denied them a vital goal when Jordan Jones-Waite raced onto a pass from Jamie Sinnott and curled the ball into the bottom corner of the net but an assistant's raised flag cut short Beechy's celebrations.
A few minutes later when play switched into United's penalty area a superb tackle by Marcus Belcher then a brilliant headed clearance from under the crossbar by Luke Johnston foiled the visitors attempt to break the deadlock. As Beechy continued to concede far too many free kicks their well organised back four were happy to soak up the pressure with both full backs Mike Rogerson and Carl Ravenscroft constantly involved in the action. In this entertaining contest both teams kept producing some top-class soccer and once again the Old Alts keeper kept it goalless when he made a great save following a shot on target from Gareth Mooney. The match referee was kept busy awarding free kicks galore to both teams and the visitors No11 curled one over the crossbar while Jamie Sinnott's attempt to beat Old Alts defensive wall didn't quite go according to plan.
Substitute Kurtis Lee had Beechy's best chance to secure victory but after running onto an excellent through ball from Louis Duff he missed the target by inches. During a rather scrappy last ten minutes Beechy kept attacking but Old Alts defence remained rock solid and a disappointed United outfit collected just one point. This is the first time United's 1st have been involved in a 0-0 draw since the club joined the Manchester Football League in season 2008/2009.