POSTED: February 01 2018 22:56:11. By Keith Long - Vital Win As Utd Maintain Their Title Challenge

Playing their first Division 1 fixture of 2018 Beechfield United 1st Team faced a tricky away game with Hollinwood FC. But Beechy maintained their title challenge following a 2-1 victory that kept them five points clear of second placed team Manchester Central with two games in hand. United kicked-off the match on their opponents artificial surface and in the first real attack Chris Ferris delivered a first time pass onto Jamie Sinnott who's attempt to score was blocked on the edge of the area. A clever piece of play by the Hollinwood No9 set-up a chance for his teammate wearing the No11 shirt but he fired the ball yards wide. The Hollinwood keeper was soon in action dealing with a swerving cross from Jordan Jones-Waite who had displayed great footwork when getting past two opponents. Hollinwood forced some important defending from Rob Lockley, Tim Taylor and Luke Johnston prior to United taking the lead in the 12th minute via a stunning half volley by Matthew McNally who had previously played for the club in the 2014-2015 season.

Jamie Sinnott had a chance to put Beechy two goals up following a pass from Carl Ravenscroft who minutes later was back on defensive duty when Hollinwood forced two successive corners. Producing some stylish counter-attacks Hollinwood came close several times to forcing an equaliser and on one occasion their No6 forced a fine reaction save from Beechy keeper Robert Harrison. A solo run out of his own half by Tim Taylor carved out a decent chance for Jamie Sinnott who's effort was just off target. Hollinwood made United work hard to stay ahead and the home side created another attacking surge just before the whistle went for the interval. In the opening minutes of the second half Robert Harrison made another smart save after a low drive from the Hollinwood No10. Louis Duff, Rob Lockley and Jordan Jones-Waite were involved in a great move that nearly produced a goal. United forced the first corner in the second half and a fine effort from Luke Johnston was on target but straight at the keeper.

There was a quick tempo to the game and more good football from Hollinwood forced more no-nonsense defending from Beechy. A brilliant piece of football by Man of the Match Louis Duff started a move that led to Craig Massey moving the ball onto Chris Ferris who was inches away from a deserved goal. Left unmarked just inside the area the Hollinwood No7 failed to finish off a quick break down the left flank. Steven Erskine replaced Craig Massey in the 68th minute and he joined Chris Ferris and Matthew McNally in midfield. Minutes later United were handed a slight advantage when Hollinwood were reduced to ten players following a red card incident but the home side continued to enjoy a decent share of the ball though they failed to create many clear-cut chances.

Beechy made their second substitution after seventy five minutes when Kurtis Lee took over from Jamie Sinnott. A long range effort by Carl Ravenscroft flew over the crossbar just before United got their second goal after a superb angled pass by Steven Erskine sent Jordan Jones-Waite racing down the right wing and his pinpoint cross was met by Kurtis Lee and with the keeper out of position the Beechy striker side footed the ball into the empty net. Hollinwood attacked non-stop throughout the last ten minutes and following a corner the ball deflected off one of their players into the net for the hosts consolation goal. United wanted a free kick after a foul on Tim Taylor that wasn't spotted by the referee who overall had a first-class game.

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