POSTED: December 15 2016 21:29:25. By Keith Long
- United Denied Victory After Leading 2-0
On Saturday afternoon at Salford Sports Village Beechfield United's First Team were on a revenge mission when they met Chadderton Reserves who beat United 5-2 when the teams met earlier in the season. There was a fast start to the match on the wet artificial surface and United's back four of Mike Rogerson, Gary Wallis, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft faced early Chadderton pressure. Following a long clearance by the visitors keeper the ball bounced kindly for the Chadderton number seven who shot wide from close range. After missing six games through injury Alfie Belcher returned to the side and was soon involved making a few promising runs down the left flank. Rob Lockley was also seeing a lot of the ball and he linked up well with Kurtis Lee in numerous moves.
Following a corner Luke Johnston headed the ball straight at the keeper then Chris Ferris suffered the same fate with a curling effort from just outside the area. Chadderton who included several youngsters in their team rarely wasted possession as they played some neat and tidy football. Another long ball aimed deep into United's half was controlled by Chadderton's number ten who's low drive bounced off the base of the post. In the midfield area Chris Ferris, Steven Erskine and Mike Phythian worked hard and were constantly involved in the action. The referee did a good job in an attempt to keep the game flowing and awarded free kicks galore to both teams. An accurate low cross by Mike Phythian skidded across the area and Kurtis Lee was inches away from diverting the ball into the net.
It remained 0-0 at half time and when play resumed the pattern of the match was much the same as the second half developed. There was some great defending by Carl Ravenscroft as Chadderton produced several well crafted moves and on one occasion the ball was in United's net but the goal was disallowed for offside. On the hour mark United took the lead when a high looping cross from Mike Phythian was flicked into the area by Alfie Belcher and Kurtis Lee beat the keeper from about eight yards. Chadderton were quickly on the attack looking for an equaliser but United defended superbly and went 2-0 up on sixty five minutes. A long accurate ball downfield by Luke Johnston was headed past the last defender by Kurtis Lee and the alert Mike Phythian ran through unchallenged and angled the ball into the corner of the net.
Kurtis Lee had a couple of decent chances to increase United's lead his second attempt an audacious lob dropped just over the crossbar. Play quickly switched to the other end of the pitch and the visitors forced a corner that produced a goalmouth scramble and Chadderton's number nine saw his effort hit the side netting. Alfie Belcher was replaced by Louis Duff who was soon involved and at the end of a blistering run his thunderous drive forced a brilliant save from the Chadderton keeper. Chadderton broke United's offside trap in the 83rd minute and reduced the arrears courtesy of their number ten. There was a lengthy stoppage before play resumed and United were just minutes away from a deserved victory when Chadderton's number three made it 2-2 after the ball deflected to him off an unlucky United defender.