POSTED: December 22 2018 22:25:55. By Keith Long - Beechy Suffer 5-3 Defeat After Leading 2-0

The 1st Teams final match before the Christmas break was away against Royton Town and United were left feeling rather dejected at the final whistle. Following a brilliant first half performance Beechy held a fully deserved 2-0 lead but it was a different story after the break when United were guilty of some awful defending and Royton Town who controlled the second half celebrated a 5-3 victory. In an evenly balanced opening six minutes the ball was off the pitch on numerous occasions as a strong gusty wind threatened to spoil the game. Marcus Belcher and Mike Rogerson were forced to make some hasty clearances and United keeper Andrew Richardson confidently dealt with long range efforts from a couple of Royton's midfield men. Once Beechy got their passing game into gear on the 4G Astroturf Pitch United slowly dominated possession and opened the scoring in the 11th minute. A reckless challenge on Ethan Birds earned United a free kick and Jamie Sinnott produced the highlight of the contest when he hammered the ball past the keeper from forty yards.

Royton Town continued to move the ball around at a face pace on the wet surface but Beechy remained solid in defence and the whole team displayed a great work ethic. Jordan Jones-Waite had a great chance to add a quick second goal but somehow he blasted the ball wide after clever play by Jamie Sinnott. A one handed save by Andrew Richardson kept out a swerving shot from Royton's No10 then United's keeper made an even better save a few minutes later. Showing real aggression to win the ball in midfield was Ethan Birds and his inch perfect pass found Kurtis Lee who fired a low drive from a tight angle just off target. Needing to display slightly more composure when chances arrived United were awarded their first corner in the 35th minute. A free kick taken by the Royton No10 went over United's defensive wall and the crossbar as the hosts kept up a flow of counter-attacks. A superb move between Steven Erskine and Jamie Sinnott easily found a gap in Royton's defence and Jordan Jones-Waite fired the ball past the keeper into the corner of the net but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Following United's next positive attack the ball was in the Royton net again but the referee had no reason to disallow this goal that put United 2-0 up on forty minutes. An accurate crossfield pass from Jordan Jones-Waite was controlled first time by Louis Duff who then curled the ball deep into the area and with all the Royton defenders caught out of position Jamie Sinnott was left unmarked and Beechy's No9 supplied a top-class finish. In the remaining minutes of the first half United defended superbly with Chris Ferris, Steven Erskine, Ethan Birds and Mike Rogerson all making vital contributions. The fast action resumed straight from the restart and just two minutes into the second half Royton Town reduced the arrears when the hosts capitalised on really poor United defending. Suddenly Beechy faced a barrage of attacks from a revitalised Royton outfit and United had to work overtime to retain possession. Always at the heart of Royton's swift and accurate passing moves was their No11 and his trickery on the ball always caused problems for United's defenders.

As the weather conditions deteriorated rapidly Beechy were punished for another piece of static defending when the hosts won a free kick. Royton's No8 blasted the ball at the target and it bounced back into play off the post and while United were guilty of ball watching the hosts No9 slammed the rebound home for 2-2 on fifty four minutes. Beechy were desperate to get a foothold in the match as they continually struggled with the atrocious weather and the erratic pace of the game. Andrew Richardson was forced to make a superb reaction save and when the ball rolled across the area Marcus Belcher was forced to concede a corner and from the resulting flag kick Royton's No5 gave the hosts the lead via an easy headed goal.

Royton kept the pressure on a shell-shocked Beechy outfit who gifted the home side a fourth goal following more terrible defending but United were thrown a lifeline when Man of the Match Jamie Sinnott completed his hat-trick for 4-3 after latching onto a loose back pass from a Royton defender. A fairly easy chance was on offer for Jordan Jones-Waite to net an equaliser before at the end of another swift Royton counter-attack their No10 sealed United's fate with the hosts fifth goal. Beechy forced successive corners within the last three minutes and both Kurtis Lee and Ethan Birds almost scored during two goalmouth scrambles.

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