POSTED: August 22 2019 19:48:47. By Keith Long
- United Make Low-Key Start To M/C League Season
Following their first three Manchester Football League Premier Division games Beechfield United First Team secured just one point but deserved two more after their opening day fixture with Stockport Gregorians ended 3-3.
Beechy who were away to Gregorians on Saturday 10th August conceded the opening goal but producing a very impressive all-round performance United found themselves 3-1 up in the 18th minute. The hosts grabbed the lead after just five minutes but a brilliant defence splitting pass by Ethan Birds set-up Kurtis Lee who equalised courtesy of a clinical finish. Louis Duff and Carl Ravenscroft forced successive corners as Beechy kept Gregorians back four under pressure and Luke Johnston via a header gave United a 2-1 lead. Chris Ferris, Steven Erskine and Ethan Birds grafted non-stop in midfield and Beechy added their third goal when Danny Royle's fierce drive was parried back into play by the Gregorians keeper and Ethan Birds side footed the ball into the empty net. United knew Gregorians were a difficult team to play against and the hosts using the effective long ball option forced two superb saves from United's keeper Rob Harrison. An in swinging corner taken by Danny Royle was cleared off the line just before Gregorians made it 3-2 in the 40th minute when United were caught napping following a dead ball situation. Within ninety seconds of the second half Beechy had to deal with some heavy pressure as Gregorians forced a couple of corners. A few promising counter-attacks created some half chances for United who conceded a third goal on fifty five minutes after a deep cross from the right flank found the hosts No9 and he fired the ball home from just inside the area. A brilliant piece of play and pinpoint pass from Ethan Birds opened up the Gregorians defence and Louis Duff had a great chance to give Beechy the lead again but he hammered the ball straight at the keeper. United's back four Mike Rogerson, Marcus Belcher, Carl Ravenscroft and Man of the Match Luke Johnston worked hard in the last fifteen minutes as Gregorians came close to forcing a match winning goal.
Three days later United played the first of three evening fixtures when they travelled to face Pennington FC. After going a goal down Beechy responded well and led 2-1 thanks to well taken goals from Ethan Birds and Kurtis Lee but Pennington equalised and were 3-2 up at half time. United struggled to adapt to the pace of the game in the second half and facing constant pressure from their opponents conceded two more goals. Sharing United Man of the Match Award were Ethan Birds and Chris Ferris.