August 13 2018 21:39:21.
By Keith Long
- United Lose Final Pre-Season Friendly Match
For their final pre-season friendly match prior to the 2018/2019 season in the Manchester Football League Premier Division Beechfield United 1st Team travelled to play Old Alts and suffered a 2-0 defeat. During the opening ten minutes of the match Beechy came close to taking the lead and one stylish move between Louis Duff and Kurtis Lee deserved a better finish. Then at the end of United's next attack the ball was controlled by Craig Massey on the edge of the area but he shot wide of the target. Creating several good moves mainly down the right wing Old Alts issued a positive reply and Marcus Belcher produced a couple of headed clearances then Rob Harrison made his first real save following a free kick. In the midfield area both Chris Ferris and Mike Phythian worked hard to win possession and the latter combined with Jamie Sinnott and the Old Alts keeper was forced to make a one handed save. Old Alts No14 found himself unmarked and from about twenty yards hit the ball on target but it deflected off a United defender and into the hands of Rob Harrison.
Far too many stoppages threatened to ruin what was expected to be an entertaining ninety minutes. Facing a bit more pressure United were rescued on three occasions by central defender Tim Taylor who was happy to boot the ball out of the danger zone. Louis Duff got into good positions to deliver crosses into the area and both Jamie Sinnott and Kurtis Lee were inches away from turning the ball into the net. More quick counter-attacks featuring Craig Massey, Chris Ferris and Mike Phythian had Old Alts relying more on their defensive quartet for long periods. Dale Beaumont replaced Mike Rogerson just before the half hour mark and he was quickly involved in the fast end to end action. Beechy continued to struggle to find the finish to a few more decent chances during the latter stages of the first half while Old Alts produced a strong attacking surge just before half time.
United substitutes Steven Erskine, Gareth Mooney and keeper Steven Naylor all started the second half. Mike Phythian and Carl Ravenscroft carved out a chance for Kurtis Lee who's low drive hit a defender who was stood in front of the keeper. Old Alts upped the tempo in the second half forcing some first-class defending from Tim Taylor and Marcus Belcher who both produced well timed ball winning tackles. A ball sent downfield headed on by Kurtis Lee eventually found Carl Ravenscroft and his effort was saved by the agile Old Alts keeper. The hosts took the lead via their No9 who in the 68th minute latched onto a well flighted long pass and added a clinical finish. Beechy forced some serious defending from Old Alts as they searched for an equaliser but the home side survived and secured victory thanks to a slightly dubious penalty decision.