March 24 2019 19:27:54.
By Keith Long
- Winning League Double For Sat Morn Seniors
Fourteen days earlier Beechfield United Saturday Morning Senior Team beat Manchester Medics 7-0 away so on Saturday 16th March 2019 United were confident of achieving a winning Division 1 double over their opponents when the teams met at Salford Sports Village. Medics obviously didn't want a repeat of the previous score line and gave an improved performance but Beechy's overall strength and ability was the key factor and United eventually won the match 4-0. Making a fast start Medics created a few promising attacks that tested United's defensive quartet of John Bolton, Kyle Walton, Dean Quinn and Adam Boakes who responded well to the challenge. A quick counter-attack between Tom Helsby and Scott Foulds almost brought Beechy an early goal but a cross by the latter just failed to set-up Max Leonard who was unmarked inside the area. A couple of minutes later a superb crossfield pass from Wes Pierce sent John Bolton racing down the right wing and the full backs angled ball into the danger zone was hacked clear by a Medics defender.
Looking highly confident the visitors rarely wasted possession in the early stages as they forced more no nonsense defending from United and both central defenders Dean Quinn and Kyle Walton dealt with the visitors varied choice of the long ball option. Going forward Beechy struggled at times to find their free-flowing attacking rhythm and United were guilty of giving the ball away far too easily. Medics went close to getting the opening goal after a swift move involving the visitors No8 & No7 carved out a decent chance for Medics No10 who thought he had scored but United's stand-in keeper Tim McQueeney produced a superb one handed save. Working hard for the team in their respective roles were Adam Boakes and Ben Rothwell who combined to get the ball onto Wes Pierce but his effort from twenty yards was just off target. Needing a bit of a boost Beechy took the lead after twenty five minutes with a brilliant goal by Tom Helsby that lit up the game. Winning the ball in the midfield area Tom went on a mazy solo run skipping past several Medics players before adding a first-class finish. Rain was intermittent during the first half and following the goal United slowly played with more freedom but Medics still threatened via some very good counter-attacking soccer with their No8 a real menace via his good movement and pace off the ball.
An in swinging corner taken by Scott Foulds was met in the area by Kyle Walton but his powerful header flew just over the crossbar. United endured another brief period close to half time when they wasted possession and Graham Rothwell's half time instructions were vital in getting the whole team back on track. Medics No8 forced an acrobatic save from Tim McQueeney as the second half got underway and when play switched to the other end of the pitch a half volley by Tom Helsby almost found the corner of the net. Chances were on offer to Wes Pierce, Max Leonard and Tom again as Beechy gradually began to dictate the pace of the game but Medics still created a few threatening attacks and some solid defending from substitute Kyle Wray and Man of the Match Kyle Walton kept the visitors at bay. Torrential rain arrived as United stepped up a gear and Beechy forced some critical defending from their opponents as they gradually dominated the ball. Ben Rothwell and Issiaka Saba were now constantly involved in winning the midfield battle and Beechy's major threat was down the right wing with both John Bolton and Scott Foulds finding acres of space to make frequent overlapping runs.
United went 2-0 up in the 68th minute after Max Leonard's low cross was back-heeled by Tom Helsby and the unmarked Issiaka Saba fired the ball that took a slight deflection off a defender past the stranded Medics keeper. A diagonal pass from Wes Pierce sent John Bolton on another solo run and somehow two Medics defenders prevented United's right back from hitting the target. As they kept the pressure on their opponents Beechy played some of the best football in the whole game and deservedly added their third goal after seventy seven minutes. Midfield maestro Wes Pierce started and finished another classic counter-attack involving Tom Helsby with a clinical close range finish. Substitutes Abdlrahman Elamin, Ebai Ekule, Matthew Swift and Milan Bajgai all made brief appearances in the second half and victory was made even sweeter with goal number four. Kyle Wray and Issiaka Saba both played a part in the move that opened up the Medics defence for Max Leonard to complete the scoring in the 85th minute.