POSTED: April 09 2017 21:53:12. By Keith Long
- In-Form United Achieve Winning Double Over Hale
Beechfield United's in-form First Team produced another star studded display in their initial evening fixture of the season when they travelled to play Altrincham Hale. Thanks to a 3-1 victory Beechy collected three fully deserved points and achieved a winning double over their opponents with all their goals coming in the first half. Quickly adapting to a slightly uneven playing surface United dominated possession straight from the kick off forcing some serious defending from their opponents. An effort from the edge of the area by Kurtis Lee won Beechy their first corner and a couple of surging runs from Alfie Belcher created panic amongst the Hale defenders. Several quality moves involving Mike Phythian and Rob Lockley down the right wing almost led to the opening goal and on one occasion Kurtis Lee's lofted pass found Jamie Sinnott who's header forced a one handed save from the Hale keeper. When the home side created a worthwhile attack United's back four of Andrzej Browne, Gary Wallis, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft remained rock-solid.
Beechy took the lead in the 14th minute when Rob Lockley jinked his way past an Hale defender and delivered a low cross to the unmarked Alfie Belcher who fired the ball home from close range. Keeping the pressure on the hosts United controlled the pace of the game and went 2-0 up after twenty one minutes courtesy of Chris Ferris who was a tireless worker in midfield. Relying heavily on their number fifteen who led the front line well Hale briefly threatened to unsettle United's well organised defence. A few loose passes ruined more great soccer from Beechy as they continued to enjoy a greater share of the ball. Hale's number nine missed a decent chance prior to United increasing their lead with goal number three in the thirty fifth minute. Beechy were awarded a penalty following a foul on Jamie Sinnott who took the spot-kick himself and though the Hale keeper made a smart save Jamie was quickest to the rebound and set-up Mike Phythian for a clinical finish.
When the match resumed after the break United soon clicked into gear and following a free kick taken by Mike Phythian a header from Kurtis Lee was just off target. At the end of Beechy's next attack the Hale keeper made a brave save when Jamie Sinnott got clear inside the area. The home side were working harder to win possession especially in midfield but United's well organised back four that included the impressive Andrzej Browne and Luke Johnston limited the hosts to just a few chances. The Hale keeper was in action again producing an acrobatic save following another well executed free kick by Mike Phythian. Hale suddenly injected more pace into their counter-attacks and after a free kick the home side's number ten thought he had scored but his effort hit the post. Craig Massey was introduced in place of Jamie Sinnott in the 70th minute and he was quickly involved in the fast action.
A neat piece of play by Carl Ravenscroft received generous applause when his accurate long pass found Kurtis Lee but after the United striker put the ball in the net the referee disallowed the goal for offside. Against the run of play Altrincham Hale got what proved to be their consolation goal after seventy five minutes and a few minutes later Beechy made a double substitution. Louis Duff and Tom Allcock replaced Mike Phythian and Alfie Belcher and as darkness crept in United kept a tight grip on the contest and were able to celebrate a fully deserved victory. Rob Lockley was Man of the Match but there are special mentions for Luke Johnston, Andrzej Browne and Mike Phythian.