POSTED: December 27 2020 19:23:08. By Keith Long
- A Team Win 5-3 After Eventful 90 Minutes
The Manchester Football League Division 4 game Pennington Reserves v Beechfield United A Team produced an eventful ninety minutes and at the final whistle Beechy were celebrating a 5-3 victory.
Pennington's home pitch was deemed unfit so the match was played on an artificial surface at Westhoughton Leisure Centre. From the kick-off the hosts tested the ability of Beechy's back four Byron Ward, Kyle Galbraith. Josh Egan and Tommy Walker who responded with some quality defending. A surging run down the right wing by Zar Jordan created a decent chance for for Keenan Switzer but United's midfield ace curled the ball past the post. Following two more counter-attacks by the hosts Beechy keeper Keaton Rimmer had to make a smart one-handed save then good defending from Josh Egan conceded a corner. Zach Booth who was voted Man of the Match sent Zar Jordan racing down the right wing again and a deep low cross from United's No7 booted back downfield by the Pennington No5. With a fairly stiff breeze in their favour Pennington had adopted at times the long ball tactic and twice in quick succession Kyle Galbraith was Beechy saviour via some top-class defending.
United's No16 Tommy Walker won possession in his own half and sprinted forty yards before hammering the ball at the target and was denied a goal when the hosts keeper palmed it over the crossbar. Beechy were forced to concede far too many free kicks as both teams competed fiercely for possession all over the pitch but at times the referee should have used the advantage option. Pennington opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when their right back controlled a crossfield pass from a midfield teammate and allowed far too much time and space drilled the ball low into the net off the base of the post. There was a slight doubt when the hosts took a 2-0 lead when their centre forward looked to be in an offside position after receiving the ball but there was no appeal from the Beechy players. The hosts almost scored again but Keaton Rimmer rescued United with a brilliant save low down to his left to deny the Pennington No8 who had made a solo run into the area.
On thirty eight minutes Beechy reduced the arrears when Zach Booth supplied the pass that sent Kurtis Lee on a clear run and United's No14 easily rounded the keeper before slotting the ball into the empty net. Less than three minutes later Beechy were rewarded with an equaliser after Zar Jordan used his pace again to get past his marker but he was chopped down in the area and from the resulting spot-kick Keenan Switzer sent the keeper the wrong way. After the half time break the game continued at a fast and furious pace and United now enjoying more of the ball attacked with real aggression and a move between Bryon Ward, Kane Rowley and Zar Jordan deserved a better finish. Kyle Galbraith and Sam Bolton linked-up superbly but when Pennington's defence were in no man's land Beechy were frustrated when the final pass went astray. But Pennington's young outfit were fairly well organised and using both flanks to create some fast breakaway moves never allowed United's back four much time to relax.
Beechy took a 3-2 lead in the 51st minute via Kurtis Lee who finished off a move involving Byron Ward and Zar Jordan and United's main striker competed his hat-trick after latching onto a another superb inch perfect pass from Zach Booth and casually netted the fourth goal. Despite being 4-2 up United couldn't afford to relax against their hard working opponents who made a couple of substitutions an effort to change the flow of the game and as Pennington maintained their direct approach style both Kyle Galbraith and Josh Egan defended superbly. The match continued to produce incidents galore and following Pennington's third goal Beechy had to reshuffle the pack when they were reduced to ten players after an off the ball incident. Substitute Josh Main-Quinn played as a lone striker and Pennington who pushed players further up the pitch allowed United's No19 the opportunity to make penetrating solo runs off the ball.
Following a goal kick taken by Keaton Rimmer who accurately sent the ball over the head of the last Pennington defender for Josh Main-Quinn to race clear towards the penalty area the match official made a bizarre and incorrect decision when gave offside against Josh. According to FA Law 11 you cannot be offside from a goal kick but a Beechy player who questioned the decision whilst expressing his anger was shown a red card. Down to nine players for the final twelve minutes United displayed real character and team spirit and continually denied Pennington the chance to equalise and substitute Bradley Hodges played his part with some dynamic defending. A brilliant counter-attack led to a guaranteed three points for Beechy and their 5-3 victory when Sam Bolton delivered an inch through ball into the path of Josh Main-Quinn who was fouled in the area and once again Keenan Switzer made no mistake from the penalty spot.