POSTED: January 11 2019 21:51:53. By Keith Long - 1st Team Kick-Off The New Year With 3-1 Defeat

Returning after a two week break Beechfield United 1st Team squad were keen to put an end to a three match losing streak when they resumed their Manchester League Premier Division fixtures. United were away to Dukinfield Town for their opening game of the New Year but following a below par display suffered a 3-1 defeat. Both teams made a fast start on an uneven playing surface and creating a decent counter-attack Beechy were awarded the games first free kick. Luke Johnston's first time clearance in the 3rd minute found Matthew McNally who ran from midfield but fired the ball wide. A couple of well timed tackles by Louis Duff who was operating in the right back position denied Dukinfield's No11 the chance to get the ball into the danger zone. A swerving half volley from the hosts No9 curled across the area then United keeper Andrew Richardson made his first real save after twelve minutes. Victim of a few offside decisions United found it difficult to get a real foothold in the contest while Dukinfield looked better organised in all areas. Superb defending by both Marcus Belcher and Luke Johnston who produced a brilliant goal line clearance continued to deny the hosts the opening goal.

There was another opportunity for the Dukinfield No9 after he beat the offside trap but Andrew Richardson rescued Beechy with a fine one handed save. United had a goal disallowed when Kurtis Lee was judged to have been in an offside position when he headed a cross by Jamie Sinnott over the keeper. More decisive attacking play down both flanks from Dukinfield forced extra pressure on United's back four and twice Carl Ravenscroft and Marcus Belcher made well timed ball winning tackles. HT 0-0. Straight from the restart Beechy mounted a promising attack between Jamie Sinnott and Ethan Birds and a Dukinfield defender had to concede a corner. Luke Johnston's headed clearance was volleyed back on target forcing Andrew Richardson to make another fine reaction save. On fifty minutes Dukinfield took the lead when the ball was moved quickly down the left flank and a cross from the hosts No11 was headed home by the unmarked No10. As they struggled to find a better rhythm Beechy gave the ball away far too easily and Dukinfield Town went 2-0 up after taking advantage of more ragged United defending.

Substitutes Steven Erskine and Mike Phythian got a piece of the action as United made a couple of tactical changes but Dukinfield kept Beechy under pressure with more forceful attacking soccer. After United went 3-0 down they enjoyed their best period of possession and showing real character worked hard to score what proved to be no more than a consolation goal. Matthew McNally won the ball in midfield then delivered a great pass onto Jamie Sinnott and the Beechy No9 beat a couple of opponents before hammering the ball into the net. United were forced back into a defensive mode during the last ten minutes and Dukinfield almost added further goals. Marcus Belcher was named Man of the Match.

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