November 10 2017 16:43:37.
By Keith Long
- Six Goals Followed By A Five Point Lead
After they secured a 6-3 home win over Pennington FC Beechfield United's First Team took a five point lead at the top of the Division 1 table. In the Manchester Football League Beechy knew they faced a stern test from their opponents who were on a five match unbeaten run. During a fast opening period Craig Massey, Jamie Sinnott and Steven Erskine featured in several prominent counter-attacks. But on five minutes Pennington took the lead after a long pass was controlled by the visitors No7 and his accurate low cross was met by a team mate wearing the No8 shirt and he fired the ball low past Robert Harrison. The United keeper responded two minutes later when he produced a smart save to deny the Pennington No11 following a free kick. The action was both fast and furious and Beechy equalised in the 10th minute when Jamie Sinnott won a free kick and taking it himself curled the ball into the area and Kurtis Lee got up highest to plant a header into the corner of the net. An accurate long clearance by Steven Erskine was latched onto by Rob Lockley who's powerful effort on target was turned behind for a corner.
Beechy's back three of Mike Rogerson, Tim Taylor and Luke Johnston were heavily involved when Pennington launched some impressive attacks down both flanks. Robert Harrison had been the busiest of the two keepers prior to United going 2-1 up just before the quarter-hour mark via Tim Taylor who met an in swinging corner taken by Jamie Sinnott and powered a header past the keeper. Pennington were quickly back on the attack and looking for an instant equaliser and forced three successive corners. There was some solid defending from wing back Carl Ravenscroft who linked-up in one move with Jamie Sinnott and the latter moved the ball onto Kurtis Lee who saw his first time effort curl just wide. There were vital headed clearances from Tim Taylor and Mike Rogerson following two more corners to the visitors after twenty eight minutes. Possession of the ball was 50/50 as both teams continued to play at a frantic pace and on one occasion Robert Harrison made a brave save diving at the feet of a Pennington forward. Then Craig Massey produced a brilliant winning tackle on the edge of the area as Pennington injected more pace into their attacks.
Play switched quickly to the other end of the pitch following a wonderful piece of skill by Luke Johnston that set-up a chance for Kurtis Lee who was fouled just outside the area. United were awarded the free kick and Beechy's dead ball specialist Jamie Sinnott scored another spectacular trademark goal when he superbly curled the ball over the defensive wall and high into the net for 3-1. Pennington had a couple of chances to reduced the arrears when they won two free kicks just before the end of the first half. Within minutes of the restart a similar pattern to the first half developed and the visitors No10 saw a header miss the target as Pennington soon found their attacking rhythm. Chris Ferris worked hard to create a half chance for Kurtis Lee then the United striker met a pinpoint cross from Rob Lockley but after he fired the ball into the net the goal was disallowed for offside. After the Pennington No7 wasted the opportunity of finishing off a swift counter-attack the visitors added their second goal when following a corner the ball deflected off Carl Ravenscroft and into the net.
The fast pace of the game never relented and Pennington made United work hard in all areas to retain their lead. But Beechy always had the ability to find an extra gear and taking advantage of an error by a Pennington defender Jamie Sinnott set-up substitute Jordan Jones-Waite who had taken over from Kurtis Lee and he made it 4-2 in the 76th minute. Still playing some neat and controlled football the visitors continued to believe they could find a way back into the match but they received another setback when Rob Lockley and Jamie Sinnott combined and Man of the Match Craig Massey scored United's fifth goal. Then Beechy made two more tactical changes that resulted in Tom Allcock and Ethan Birds replacing Steven Erskine and Carl Ravenscroft. Slack defending allowed the Pennington No9 a free run into the area and his header just beat Robert Harrison for 5-3. Just before the final whistle Jordan Jones-Waite completed the scoring after Craig Massey had forced the keeper to mishandle the ball.