March 24 2019 19:21:35.
By Keith Long
- Premier Division Survival Boost For 1st Team
Continuing their fight against possible relegation from the Manchester Football League's Premier Division Beechfield United 1st Team were given a real boost with a 5-2 home win over fellow strugglers East Manchester. In the opening minutes of the contest wind assisted long kicks from the visitors keeper put added pressure on United's back four and twice Luke Johnston produced excellent winning headed clearances. A long range effort by East Manchester's No 8 brought the first real save of the match from United keeper Robert Harrison and his quick throw-out to Carl Ravenscroft started a swift attack that ended when a shot by Kurtis Lee dipped over the crossbar. Beechy opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Jordan Jones-Waite and Kurtis Lee combined in a great move and Jamie Sinnott slotted the ball into the net despite pressure from the visitors keeper. The match had quickly developed a frantic pace and East Manchester striving to find an equalising goal again forced some important defending from a hard working Beechy defence and both Mike Rogerson and Marcus Belcher made crucial tackles on the edge of the area.
There was some terrific play in midfield from Louis Duff as United created some quality football and Beechy came close several times to adding a second goal. Great skill by Jordan Jones-Waite who's cleverly disguised back-heel sent the ball onto Carl Ravenscroft but his intended cross into the area was off target. After numerous well worked attacks East Manchester eventually earned themselves an equaliser via an own goal after twenty three minutes. Briefly United were guilty of giving the ball away far too easily raising the visitors confidence of grabbing the lead but Beechy soon got their act together and a brilliant long ball over the East Manchester right back by Carl Ravenscroft carved out a chance for Jamie Sinnott to put Beechy back in front but the visitors keeper made a fine reaction save. Just after the half hour mark United were forced to make a team change when Marcus Belcher sustained an injury and he was replaced by Ethan Birds who took up a midfield role with Matthew McNally dropping into the back four. The visitors won another corner after Robert Harrison was in action again producing a smart save following a effort by the East Manchester No7. Mainly due to the weather conditions the match suddenly lost some of it's early sparkle as half time loomed large.
Despite making a nervous start to the second half Beechy regained the lead on forty nine minutes when during a diagonal move across the pitch a vicious shot by Kurtis Lee rebounded off a defender and timing his run to get to the rebound was Ethan Birds who volleyed the ball over the keeper from twenty five yards. Hardly having time to celebrate the goal Ethan had to replace injured United keeper Robert Harrison and Beechy made their second substitution when Team Manager Steven Erskine was thrust into the action. Suddenly reduced to ten players following a harsh red card United were forced onto the backfoot and having to defend deeper in their own half their one goal lead was under threat. But after sixty two minutes the East Manchester keeper gifted Beechy their third goal via a poor piece of distribution and the ball was brought under control by Jamie Sinnott who easily beat a visitors defender before firing it into an empty net. Eager to rectify their goalies mistake East Manchester created some fast counter-attacks especially down the right flank and Ethan Birds had to make a superb one handed save following a swerving volley from the visitors No9.
Top-class defending from Matthew McNally, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft frustrated East Manchester who had suddenly stepped up a gear and after a throw-in the visitors put the pressure back onto United when they made it 3-2. But Beechy produced a brilliant response that created the highlight of the game when Matthew McNally's superbly executed free kick that he side footed into the area was latched onto by Jamie Sinnott and United's Man of the Match completed his hat-trick as he hammered the ball low past the keeper for Beechy's fully deserved fourth goal. East Manchester continued to test United's character and resilience as they forced another bout of serious defending from Beechy's superbly organised back four and on one occasion Ethan Birds had to push the ball onto the crossbar before gathering the rebound after an effort from the visitors No11. United's fifth goal came at the end of yet another brilliant counter-attack and though an East Manchester defender had possession Louis Duff produced an excellent tackle to win back the ball and despite his driven low cross deflecting into the net off a visitors player Louis claimed the goal.