POSTED: July 23 2019 10:06:57. By Keith Long
- United Draw Friendly With American Touring Outfit
For their third pre-season friendly match Beechfield United First Team entertained American touring outfit Mid-City Lions at Salford Sports Village. On Wednesday 17th July the teams created a highly entertained ninety minutes and at the final whistle a 3-3 draw was a fair result.
Straight from the kick-off a fast pace developed as both teams quickly found their attacking rhythm and Beechy had the first real chance to open the scoring. Mike Phythian won a throw-in deep in Lions half and a superb cross into the area by Ethan Birds almost found Danny Royle who nearly got to ball just before the Lions keeper. In the opening quarter-hour United's back four Mike Phythian, Mike Rogerson, Marcus Belcher and Carl Ravenscroft produced some solid defending but Beechy struggled to win the midfield battle. Mid-City Lions took the lead just after the twenty minute mark via their No19 who from close range fired the ball into the net off the inside of the post. Beechy produced a positive response after going a goal down and a quick passing move between Kurtis Lee and Danny Royle forced a corner and from the flag kick a header by Adam Vela went just wide of the target.
Gradually United won more of the ball in midfield with Chris Ferris and Steven Erskine rarely wasting possession while Ethan Birds impressed with some superb ball winning tackling and Beechy equalised in the 32nd minute when Kurtis Lee added the finish to a very good four man move. United's opponents played with an air of confidence as they varied their style of play and the visitors went close to regaining the lead on several occasions. Following Mike Phythian's free kick close to half time Kurtis Lee had a chance to put Beechy ahead but his header curled the wrong side of the post. After making five changes at half time United went 2-1 up on forty seven minutes when a brilliant pass from Jordan Jones-Waite set-up Jamie Sinnott who after beating the offside trap casually lobbed the ball over the stranded Lions keeper. The match maintained a fairly competitive edge and Mid-City Lions made it 2-2 when the visitors won a throw-in and a slack piece of defending allowed Lions No3 a free run into the area and he added a neat finish.
More fast attacking football from both teams kept both defences on red alert and Mike Rogerson and Ethan Birds were key figures in the second half in United's back four. An acrobatic attempt by Michele Fresneda flashed just wide but the Beechy substitute was soon on target firing the ball low past the keeper to put United back in front. Jordan Jones-Waite forced a great save from the Lions goalie while at the other end of the pitch Beechy's stand-in keeper Luke Johnston made four top-class saves inside eight minutes. Lions No9 equalised for the visitors in the 70th minute putting the pressure back onto United now overworked defensive unit who were forced to deal with Lions long ball tactic in the final ten minutes. An effort on target from Steven Erskine was well held by the Lions keeper at the end of another Beechy counter-attack. Michele Fresneda had a golden opportunity to earn United victory but after he neatly evaded a defenders challenge fired the ball at the keeper.