January 25 2019 23:02:30.
By Keith Long
- Two Goals In Last Five Minutes Rob Utd Of Victory
Following their 4-0 home defeat to Hindsford seven days earlier Beechfield United's 1st Team squad were eager not to lose five Manchester Football League games on the trot. United's opponents for their twentieth Premier Division fixture were Springhead FC and Beechy were on the brink of a vital win when they held a 3-2 lead in the 85th minute but during a frantic end to the game Springhead scored twice to snatch a last gasp victory. United made two team changes and on a fairly muddy pitch attacked the end that included a slight slope. A couple of early moves from Beechy involving Carl Ravenscroft, Steven Erskine and Jordan Jones-Waite forced some early defending from the hosts. Springhead's No6 was featured heavily in his team's most prominent attacks and just after the four minute mark the home side took the lead following a corner. The underfoot conditions made it difficult for both teams to play attractive soccer and at time the long ball tactic was the more favoured option.
United keeper Robert Harrison made one impressive reflex save after a corner then when Springhead forced another corner Carl Ravenscroft cleared the ball close to the penalty spot. Springhead continued to test the ability of Beechy's back four of Mike Phythian, Marcus Belcher, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft and in the opening quarter-hour United relied mostly on the counter-attack. Jamie Sinnott, Louis Duff and Jordan Jones-Waite worked well together and Kurtis Lee ended the move shooting wide of the target. During a slightly better period of possession for United a precise long pass from Jamie Sinnott easily found Jordan Jones-Waite who sent the ball onto Louis Duff but the Beechy youngster volleyed it over the crossbar. Using the full width of the pitch Springhead always threatened to increase their lead and once again Robert Harrison was in action making another brave save when under pressure. United equalised in the 23rd minute when a superbly weighted pass from Steven Erskine was controlled by Kurtis Lee and he played the ball across to Jordan Jones-Waite who fired it low past the keeper.
In midfield Beechy Manager Steven Erskine and Chris Ferris supplied numerous key passes after timing their ball winning tackles to perfection . A Jamie Sinnott free kick forced a goalmouth scramble then in quick succession the Springhead keeper mad a couple of fine reaction saves. Springhead's players and officials became rather angry with the referee who chose to show a spate of yellow cards in a short space of time. Showing real aggression and superb temperament United worked hard against their opponents who occupied fourth place in the league table and there was more brilliant defending from Mike Phythian, Marcus Belcher and Carl Ravenscroft in the closing stages of the first half. Within two minutes after the restart there was a brief stoppage due to an injury to the Springhead keeper and when play resumed the hosts were soon back on the attack and Luke Johnston made a vital clearance close to the goal line. The action was both fast and furious and United's first corner of the second period was well defended against leading to another swift counter-attack from Springhead.
Both Jordan Jones-Waite and Kurtis Lee led United's attacking threat with some non-stop running off the ball and Beechy created a few decent chances early in the second half. Suddenly as they upped the tempo Springhead went close to regaining the lead when their No6 headed wide following a corner then the hosts No5 blasted the ball high over the crossbar from close range. After sixty three minutes United went 2-1 up thanks to superb play by Steven Erskine who sent Jordan Jones-Waite on a clear run down the left wing and though Jordan's shot was saved by the Springhead keeper Kurtis Lee confidently netted the rebound. The referee continued to award free kicks galore to both teams as the playing surface deteriorated that resulted in a few mistimed tackles. Mike Rogerson replaced Mike Phythian in the right back position in the 70th minute and he was soon having to defend as Springhead who forced three successive corners attacked with real menace. The hosts grabbed an equalising goal after United failed to deal with a free kick and when the ball was sent back into the area at the second attempt the Springhead No 10 headed it home from about ten yards.
Beechy were quick to bounce back and led 3-2 on seventy eight minutes via a great piece of skill from Jamie Sinnott who's cross into the area was met by Kurtis Lee and his header found the bottom corner of the net. Robert Harrison produced an outstanding save to deny a close range effort by the Springhead No9 then the hosts won a penalty after eighty five minutes and the United keeper almost saved the spot-kick but Springhead's No6 made it 3-3. Danny Royle made a brief appearance in place of Louis Duff and Beechy were still attacking when Springhead won possession in their own half and a quick passing move led to their winning goal. The ball was sent forward to the hosts No12 who evaded a late challenge and he delivered a low cross that found the Springhead No11 and his powerful strike somehow crept just inside the post despite a brilliant attempt to prevent the goal by Robert Harrison. (Match Played on Saturday 19th December 2019)