POSTED: February 25 2020 18:02:54. By Keith Long
- Brilliant All-Round Display Guarantees Trophy Win
Beechy Reserves were involved in the Open Trophy on Saturday 22nd February 2020 and had home advantage when they met Atherton Town Reserves. Following a brilliant all-round display United were rewarded with a 3-0 victory.
On the 4G Pitch at David Lewis Playing Fields United were the best team throughout the tie but they had enough chances to have won by a much bigger score line. Weather conditions were blustery and overcast as the match kicked off and when Atherton Town attacked down their right flank twice George Switzer defended superbly when under pressure. Early great ball winning tackles from David McCarthy, Byron Ward and Zach Booth set the tone for this stunning Beechy display. Good running off the ball by Callum Davies carved out a decent chance for Keenan Switzer who went close to a goal from just inside the area. There was a fast pace to this cup-tie on the artificial surface and twice in quick succession Man of the Match Deren Saunders saw a header following corners just miss the target. Beechy's back four David McCarthy, George Switzer, Deren Saunders and Lucas Morgan were superbly well organised as they limited the visitors to only a few chances and United's keeper Jason Rodgers was a mere spectator for a large percentage of the first half.
Atherton Town almost opened the scoring after winning another free kick but great defending by George Switzer and Lucas Morgan got the ball out of the danger zone. Callum Davies left the pitch following a slight injury and was replaced by Alex Gorny who had a golden opportunity to fire United ahead but his attempt to beat the keeper only won Beechy a corner. A superbly executed free kick taken by Zach Booth struck the post with the keeper beaten prior to United taking the lead. At the end of a slick move from back to front Jamie Sinnott was clearly fouled in the area and Keenan Switzer made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick. Then five minutes later it was 2-0 after Jamie Sinnott won possession with a strong challenge and neatly set-up Danny Lee who side footed the ball low past the keeper. Beechy were good value for their two goal advantage at the break and a sudden change in the weather failed to knock the gloss off United's performance.
As they continued to create some excellent attacking soccer Beechy had a flux of really good chances. Zach Booth looked certain to score from close range then after beating the offside trap Jamie Sinnott who had raced onto a pass from Keenan Switzer curled the ball wide. Recovered from his injury Callum Davies took over from Alex Gorny as United Manager Mark McWilliams used the available roll-on-roll-off substitution rule. Atherton Town also made a couple of changes and suddenly looked a greater threat going forward but United's defensive quartet remained rock solid. An Atherton player was guilty of a misplaced pass in the midfield area and after collecting a through ball from a teammate Beechy's leading goal scorer Callum Davies punished the error when he went on a clear run into the area and slotted the ball into the corner of the net for 3-0. More top-class defending from Deren Saunders who won nearly all the aerial duels that kept Atherton at bay but the visitors No6 nearly reduced the arrears when his fine effort rattled the crossbar.
Following more great counter-attacking Beechy should have increased their lead but Zach Booth, Callum Davies and substitute Hamza Hussein just failed to add the required finishing touch to more fast flowing moves. The action continued to switch from end to end and in the closing minutes Jamie Sinnott's accurate long pass found Callum Davies who's low drive hit the post while the visitors won several free kicks but failed to get a consolation goal. There was a very good performance by match referee Trevor Thomas.