POSTED: August 03 2019 20:37:11. By Keith Long - 1st Team's Hectic Pre-Season Continues


Playing three games in seven days Beechfield United 1st Team continued their build-up to the 2019/2020 season.

On Saturday 20th July 2019 Beechy travelled to Little Lever Sports Centre for a friendly match with Salford Storm FC and at the final whistle after hitting double figures secured an emphatic victory. United made a great start to the match when they took the lead in the 2nd minute after an accurate low cross by Kurtis Lee produced a superb finish from Michele Fresneda. On an uneven playing surface Beechy continued to looked dangerous on the counter-attack and went 2-0 up on twelve minutes via Kurtis Lee. Salford Storm gradually played with a greater belief and reduced the arrears through their No9 who's superbly executed free kick from 25yards was one of the best moments of the first half. Central defender Mike Rogerson made numerous superb ball winning tackles as Storm threatened to score again and the hosts managed to get back level when their No10 made it 2-2 after twenty one minutes.

Always looking dangerous going forward United kept creating some top-class soccer with Chris Ferris and Steven Erskine working hard in a congested midfield. Three minutes before half time Beechy regained the lead following a great move involving Carl Ravenscroft and Danny Royle and Kurtis Lee added a clinical finish for 3-2. The second half was a totally one-side affair as United who were playing down a prominent slope on the pitch made a few tactical changes. Despite being outplayed Salford Storm always displayed real dignity and Beechy had six different players on target and sharing the goals were Michele Fresneda, Kurtis Lee, Jamie Sinnott, Jordan Jones-Waite, Louis Duff and Danny Lee.

EAST MANCHESTER 2 v BEECHFIELD UNITED 1
United were away again four days later when they were involved in a physical encounter against East Manchester. Making a confident start both teams moved the ball around at a brisk pace on the artificial surface and there was early involvement in the match for Beechy keeper Robert Harrison. Some quality defending from Luke Johnston and Deren Saunders denied the hosts the chance to grab an early lead and when United built some useful attacks Adam Vela, Rob Lockley and Gareth Mooney were heavily involved. After forcing their first corner in the 22nd minute East Manchester opened the scoring three minutes later thanks to their No11's accurate close range finish. Chance for an quick equaliser was on offer but Kurtis Lee just missed the target after being set-up by Ethan Birds who himself attempted the beat the keeper with a thunderous drive from 25yards. The hosts keeper became more involved as Beechy continued to create chances but on thirty seven minutes East Manchester led 2-0 when their No9 scored from the penalty-spot.

Louis Duff, Steven Erskine, Mike Phythian, Marcus Belcher and Michele Fresneda were all involved as United made a raft of substitutions for the second half. But at times Beechy were let down by a combination of wasted possession and giving away far too many free kicks and Robert Harrison was the busiest of the two keepers during the second period. A fine angled pass from Steven Erskine was latched onto by Danny Royle who forced a fine reflex save from the hosts keeper. Continually producing some fast attacking football East Manchester threatened to add a third goal forcing some last-ditch defending from Mike Rogerson, Luke Johnston and Marcus Belcher. United reduced the arrears with the highlight of the match when after making a superb tackle to win the ball Mike Phythian hammered it past the keeper from about 25yards. The pace of the game remained both fast and furious within the latter stages and Beechy were still having to defend when the referee blew for full time.

BEECHFIELD UNITED 3 v STYAL FC 2

On a rather wet Saturday afternoon at Salford Sports Village United entertained Cheshire League side Styal FC and after trailing 2-0 at half time Beechy created a much improved display in the second half and were able to celebrate a 3-2 victory. In the 4th minute a shot by Kurtis Lee bounced back into play off the post and when play moved quickly to the other end of the pitch brilliant defending from Luke Johnston plus a great save by Robert Harrison denied the visitors an early lead. But maintaining a bulk of possession Styal were eventually rewarded with the opening goal thanks to a clinical finish from their No11. Beechy worked hard in an attempt to get back level with Mike Phythian looking in good form and his lofted pass over the last Styal defender was controlled by Kurtis Lee who fired the ball into the side netting. Styal punished some slack Beechy defending and went 2-0 up a lead they deserved when the referee ended the first half.

Shots by both Louis Duff and Mike Phythian flashed just wide of the target as United made a confident start to the second half. Some solid defending from Mike Rogerson, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft foiled several attempts from Styal to increase their lead and gradually Beechy looked the better team. The Styal keeper saved a close range effort from Chris Ferris just before United got a goal back when Louis Duff set-up Adam Vela for an accurate close range finish. Beechy keeper Robert Harrison made a brilliant save to deny Styal's No9 then a great move involving Danny Royle, Carl Ravenscroft and Kurtis Lee led to United's equalising goal via Louis Duff. Styal FC had a few half chances in the latter stages but Beechy kept producing some superb attacking play and were rewarded with a winning goal after Kurtis Lee raced onto a great through ball from Jordan Jones-Waite and hammered the ball low past the advancing Styal keeper.



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