POSTED: February 23 2018 21:17:25. By Keith Long
- Twelve Match Unbeaten Run Comes To An End
Beechfield United 1st Team suffered their second Division 1 defeat of the season when they lost 2-1 at home to Hollinwood FC. Though Beechy remained on top of the table it was still a case of three points dropped against their opponents who they had beaten by the same score line three weeks earlier. On the attack straight from the kick-off United had a chance of a goal within the first sixty seconds but an effort by Jordan Jones-Waite deflected off an Hollinwood for a corner. Both Matthew McNally and Chris Ferris were soon involved in a battle to get control of the midfield. Following a free kick to the visitors United failed to clear the ball out of the danger zone and they breathed a sigh of relief when a ferocious half volley by Hollinwood's No6 hit the crossbar and bounced back into play. The match was played throughout at a terrific pace and in the opening quarter-hour there was an abundance of free kicks as both teams competed fiercely for possession.
A tight offside decision was given against Jordan Jones-Waite who fired the ball into the net and was ready to celebrate after he finished off a move started by Rob Lockley. United continued to work hard as they strived to make the breakthrough against their well organised opponents who had several talented individuals in their line-up. The Hollinwood keeper was judged to have handled a back pass just inside the area but United's free kick specialist Jamie Sinnott couldn't force the ball past the visitors defensive wall. Midway through the first half Beechy keeper Robert Harrison made his first real save to deny Hollinwood's No9 the chance to score the opening goal. Beechy became more frustrated as they kept creating chances but they lacked the finishing touch and it remained 0-0 at the break.
Forcing the first corner in the second half Beechy finally took the lead when Jamie Sinnott's flag kick was met by Tim Taylor who after timing his run into the area to perfection sent a powerful header high into the net. But the United goal scorer was soon back defending alongside Luke Johnston and Rob Lockley as the visitors now growing in confidence started to play with much more energy and self-belief. Winning the ball close to the touchline Jordan Jones-Waite skilfully went past two opponents but his fierce half-volley went just wide of the target. United were forced to make the first of a couple of substitutions when Manager Steven Erskine replaced the injured Matthew McNally in midfield. The one goal never looked enough to guarantee Beechy victory due to wasted possession and more missed chances.
Most of Hollinwood's free flowing moves featured their No12 and he supplied the cross field pass that set-up an unmarked teammate who swept the ball low into the net making it 1-1. Then the visitors shocked United when they grabbed the lead in the 68th minute and Beechy knew they had to raise their game if they were extend their unbeaten run to thirteen matches. Showing more urgency United came close several times to getting back level and twice Jamie Sinnott was denied a goal after two great saves by the brave Hollinwood keeper. Following successive corners Luke Johnston had a couple of valid attempts to volley the ball home from inside the area then during a late attacking surge Steven Erskine shot wide from a narrow angle. United's Man of the Match was Tim Taylor. (Match played on 17/2/2018)