POSTED: August 09 2017 22:59:18. By Keith Long - Pre-Season Activity For Beechy First Team

In preparation for the forthcoming 2017/2018 season Beechfield United First Team have been involved in several Friendly Games. Leigh Athletic were United's opponents on 8th July and Beechy were rewarded for a top-class display with a 4-0 victory. United welcomed back Assistant-Manager Tim Taylor who had missed the previous two seasons due to injury and during the opening ten minutes United created some excellent quick passing moves and there were chances on offer for Jamie Sinnott and Louis Duff to open the scoring. Team Manager Steven Erskine saw a superb long range effort hit the crossbar just before Beechy took the lead after sixteen minutes via Mike Phythian. As they kept the pressure on Leigh Athletic it was no real surprise when United went 2-0 up on 22 minutes after great play by Gary Wallis set-up Jamie Sinnott who scored courtesy of a brilliant first time volley.

United's back four of Andrzej Browne, Tim Taylor, Rob Lockley and Carl Ravenscroft remained rock-solid during a brief period when Leigh Athletic had a few chances following some decent counter-attacking football. Another classic move involving Carl Ravenscroft and Jamie Sinnott almost added a third goal after a snap shot by the latter bounced back into play off the post. The Leigh Athletic number seven nearly reduced the arrears close to half time but his curling effort hit the side netting. Both teams continued to use the available roll-on-roll-off substitute arrangement in the second half. Making a couple of tactical changes Beechy were quickly back in control and thanks to two goals in as many minutes they raced into a 4-0 lead. Kurtis Lee met Mike Phythian's accurate free kick and left the keeper stranded with a well placed header then he was on target again firing the ball low into the net from the edge of the area.

Leigh Athletic worked hard as they looked better organised during the second period but overall United controlled the pace of the game as they continued to play at a high tempo. The referee denied United a fifth goal when he judged Louis Duff to have been in an offside position before the ball found it's way into the net. Despite creating numerous chances to win by a greater winning margin Beechy were happy with the result.

United's next pre-season friendly was against Walshaw Sports. In a game of two halves Beechy were below-par in the first forty five minutes but responded with a vastly improved display in the second period and didn't deserved to suffer a 4-3 defeat. Mike Phythian, Jordan Jones-Waite and Gary Wallis got the goals.

Prestwich Heys Reserves were United's opponents on Saturday 29th July and this friendly was highly entertaining with both teams producing some top-quality soccer throughout the contest. Straight from the kick off the action moved swiftly from end to end and when Heys launched several counter-attacks both Rob Lockley and Carl Ravenscroft responded with some resolute defending. United's lone striker Jamie Sinnott plus Seven Erskine and Chris Ferris in midfield were involved in some useful moves which lacked the finishing touch. But Robert Harrison was the busiest of the two keepers as Heys kept the pressure on United's back four. Beechy had survived a difficult first twenty five minutes and against the run of play took the lead.

In the 28th minute at the end of a swift move down the right flank Jordan Jones-Waite via a cleverly disguised back heel set-up the chance for Chris Ferris who neatly angled the ball past the keeper. Heys continued to play some attractive football as they searched for an equaliser and their No9 threatened to score on numerous occasions. On 43 minutes his persistence paid off when he made it 1-1 after providing the required finish to a five man move. Five minutes into the second half Heys led 2-1 but Beechy responded superbly and were back level four minutes later. United's two substitutes combined when Craig Massey supplied the perfectly weighted pass and Kurtis Lee fired the ball into the corner of the net.

Robert Harrison rescued Beechy with two excellent saves following more quality attacking play from Heys. United regained the lead after 64minutes when Jamie Sinnott's audacious corner kick completely flat-footed the Heys defence and their keeper and the ball sailed into the roof of the net. Both defender Andrzej Browne and Steven Erskine were just two players who had great games as Beechy worked hard against a well organised Heys outfit. In the 75th minute Louis Duff and Jamie Sinnott combined in a quick and accurate passing move but an attempted lob over the keeper from Craig Massey dropped over the crossbar. Just five minutes later following a rather generous free kick Heys got their third goal and at 3-3 that's how it finished.

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