September 13 2017 14:36:38.
By Keith Long
- Sat Morning Team Lose Opening Day Fixture
United's Saturday Morning Senior Team kicked-off their tenth successive season in the Manchester Saturday Morning Football League with an away game at AFC Middleton. This Division One fixture was played on a 3G Astroturf pitch and United who were expecting a tough and testing ninety minutes suffered a 5-3 defeat. Beechy made an impressive start and took the lead after just six minutes when Max Leonard opened the scoring following a well executed set-piece. United continued to produce some quality football but they were guilty of failing to defend against a corner and AFC Middleton equalised in the 24th minute. It remained 1-1 at the break then on fifty minutes the home side went 2-1 up after United's defensive frailties were exploited again. A long ball down the middle of the pitch was controlled by a Middleton forward who skillfully rounded a Beechy defender and the keeper before being left with an easy finish.
Eight minutes later following another well worked set-piece central defender Dave Harrison got United back level when he beat the keeper via a well placed header. The fast action kept producing chances at both ends and three goals in a seven minute spell certainly brought the match back to life again. On seventy two minutes a AFC Middleton forward was gifted a free header from the centre of the area then the hosts led 4-2 courtesy of a tremendous strike after 75 minutes. United reduced the arrears with their third goal when in the 79th minute Kane Branigan delivered a great cross that found Scott Foulds and he fired the ball past the keeper. As they pushed more players higher up the pitch looking to force at least a draw Beechy were caught napping after a breakaway move by AFC Middleton ended with their fifth goal that guaranteed the victory. Voted Man of the Match was Damon Whitbread.