POSTED: August 19 2016 13:22:43. By Keith Long - 1st Team Lose Opening Day Division 1 Fixture

In the Manchester Football League Beechfield United kicked-off their 2016/2017 Division 1 season with an away game against Breightmet United. Despite producing a top-class first half display a frustrated Beechy outfit continually failed to find the finish to some superb attacking football and eventually suffered a 2-0 defeat. Quickly finding a good rhythm United won the game’s first corner and keeping the pressure on their opponents Beechy came close several times to taking the lead. Heavily involved in midfield was Michael Phythian who saw one splendid effort curl inches wide of the target with the keeper well beaten. Breightmet’s best attacks were focused down the left flank putting a brief spell of pressure on United’s right back and Man of the Match Mike Rogerson who defended superbly on numerous occasions. Both teams quickly adopted the long ball option but it was Beechy who continued to impress via some superb counter-attacks involving Rob Lockley who had an excellent first forty-five minutes. During their best spell of possession United carved out a glut of decent chances and a header by central defender Kurtis Lee just cleared the crossbar following a corner taken by Jamie Sinnott. Minutes later a slick move between Michael Phythian, Callum Davies and Chris Ferris almost produced a goal but the latter fired the ball over the crossbar. It was 0-0 at half time and making a tactical change United reverted to a 4-3-3 formation for the second half but when play resumed it was Breightmet who made the better start and their number seven had a half chance after a mazy run only to fire the ball straight at United keeper Robert Harrison. Sixty seconds later an accurate crossfield pass from Rob Lockley found Callum Davies on the right flank who forced a fine one handed save from the Breightmet keeper. The second half was slightly more physical than the first and United’s back four of Mike Rogerson, Kurtis Lee, Luke Johnston and Andrzej Browne were always faced with constant heavy pressure as Breightmet took control. United conceded the opening goal in the 63rd minute after a long ball out of defence was controlled by the Breightmet No9 who neatly set-up his strike partner for a decisive finish. Beechy then made a couple of personal changes and briefly played with more freedom but suddenly United lost some of their attacking prowess and at times surrendered possession far too easily. Chances of an equaliser became isolated and United were dealt another blow when Breightmet added their second goal after seventy-seven minutes. Inside the closing minutes’ substitute Patrick Beckett almost grabbed Beechy a consolation goal but following a corner his powerful header flew over the crossbar.

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