POSTED: February 14 2020 22:23:58. By Keith Long - Two Successive Away Defeats For 1st Team

After they secured a 4-2 home win over Chadderton Reserves on Saturday 18th January Beechfield United's 1st Team were confident of a quick winning double when the teams met again seven days later.

But United faced stronger opposition in the away game and after producing a slightly below-par display in the first half found themselves 3-0 down at the break. Beechy conceded the opening goal in the fourth minute following a quick one-two followed by a close range finish from the Chadderton centre forward. Mike Rogerson, John Purcell and Luke Johnston rescued United with some last ditch defending as the hosts hardly wasted possession. Chadderton's No7 was involved heavily in his teams most prominent attacks and he set-up chances for two teammates who both forced Beechy keeper Rob Harrison to produce some top-class goalkeeping. A slick quick passing move between Gareth Mooney and Danny Royle down the left flank deserved a better finish as United searched for a goal to get back level. But overall Beechy were forced to do more resolute defending as a well organised Chadderton outfit continued to carve out a glut of chances.

The hosts No9 saw a fine effort rattle the crossbar then Chadderton's appeal for a penalty after their forward (who should been shown a yellow card) blatantly dived inside the area was firmly waved away by the match official. Several counter-attacks by United failed to test the Chadderton keeper and only the hard working Craig Massey who had another very good game came close to a goal. The hosts No10 with a powerful free header made it 2-0 and following a slight stoppage Chadderton added their third goal courtesy of their No8. In the early stages of the second half Chadderton still enjoyed more of the ball until United raised their game as they played down the slight slope on the home teams pitch. Highlights of the second half included some excellent defending from Luke Johnston and John Purcell and continuous non-stop running off the ball by Craig Massey who's superb shot on the turn beat the keeper but the ball hit the top of the crossbar.

It was Craig who created the opportunity for Ellis Carr and he supplied a fine finish from about eighteen yards that saw the ball curl into the top corner of the net for what proved to be Beechy's consolation goal. Chadderton's continued use of the long ball tactic was less of a threat but United's defence still had to remain alert at all times. As they continued to display more commitment, aggression and urgency Beechy deserved to score again and both Danny Royle and Gareth Mooney went close to adding the finish during a late attacking spell as United ended the game with a real flurry. (25/1/2020)

United had no fixture on Saturday 1st February but were back in action seven days later with another away game this time against Rochdale Sacred Heart a team who had a very good home record and it was the hosts who kicked-off this Premier Division match. Beechy quickly forced three successive throw-ins then won the games first corner when an effort by Danny Royle deflected off the Hearts No6. Sacred Heart soon found a good rhythm going forward and their No7 shot wide following a free kick then a brilliant goal line clearance by Luke Johnston denied the hosts an early lead. Creating more forceful attacks down both flanks Scared Heart kept a tight grip on the game and their No8 got into a great shooting position but Ethan Birds produced a brilliant ball winning tackle on the edge of the area. There were decent chances for Louis Duff and Craig Massey prior to United's keeper Rob Harrison rescuing Beechy when he bravely dived at the feet of Hearts No9.

But in the 23rd minute Rob was deemed to have fouled the Hearts No11 just inside the area that led to the hosts winning a penalty and taking lead when the same player made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick. Continually let down by far too many overhit long balls and misplaced passes Beechy had rarely tested the Hearts keeper during the first half hour. When United appealed for offside against Hearts No7 the referees assistant kept his flag down and luckily for Beechy the hosts forward fired the ball back into play off the crossbar. In quick succession brave defending from Luke Johnston and John Purcell kept the hosts lead to just one goal as the game maintained a fast pace. Ellis Carr appeared to be the victim of a rash challenge by the Hearts keeper and though United were totally convinced they should have been awarded a penalty the outcome was just a corner. Still trailing 1-0 at the break Beechy needed to change their tactics in the second half and displaying more self belief and desire United started to play with a bit more freedom.

Chris Ferris, Ethan Birds and Louis Duff worked overtime in midfield while upfront Craig Massey was always a threat to the Hearts back four. Craig was somewhat bemused after he was clearly fouled just inside the area but once again United failed to receive the correct decision when the referee after consulting his assistant indicated the offence occurred outside the area. Sacred Heart via the counter-attack came close on several occasions to another goal and Man of the Match Rob Harrison confidently dealt with long range efforts from the hosts No7 and No11. Continuing to play some good attacking soccer United were unlucky not to find an equalising goal and suffered a 2-0 defeat when the hosts No10 netted Hearts second goal converting a low cross from the right wing. (8/2/2020)

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