POSTED: March 22 2020 20:55:15. By Keith Long
- 93rd Minute Equaliser Robs United Of Victory
A disappointed Beechfield United 1st Team looked on course for a well deserved three points when they held a 3-1 lead in their away game against Heyside FC but after reducing the arrears the hosts equalised in the 93rd minute.
Similar to previous Premier Division fixtures the weather played a major part and the players had to deal with a strong gusty wind throughout the match. Adopting a 4-5-1 system Beechy looked highly confident straight from the kick-off and enjoyed most of the ball in the opening ten minutes. A brilliant crossfield pass from Ethan Birds was controlled by Danny Royle and after sprinting forward several yards Beechy's No18 almost opened the scoring but his long range shot bounced back into play off the crossbar. Heyside's No 2 soon displayed his ability to run at speed with the ball and United left back Carl Ravenscroft knew he faced a busy ninety minutes. The hosts forced the games first corner in the 8th minute but the combined efforts of stand-in keeper Luke Johnston and Louis Duff forced the ball out of the danger zone then Luke Johnston produced a fine save to deny Heyside's No7 just before Beechy took the lead after thirteen minutes.
Steve Erskine and Louis Duff linked-up superbly to create the opening for United's lone striker Ellis Carr who easily went past an Heyside defender and advanced into the area before firing the ball low past the keeper. When Heyside went close to a getting a quick equaliser Chris Ferris and Mike Rogerson were clam under pressure as they dealt with crosses fired in from the right flank. Beechy's work rate all over the pitch was highly impressive and in his midfield role Louis Duff won numerous 50/50 challenges against United's aggressive opponents. A couple of corners to Heyside caused a few anxious moments for Beechy and on one occasion the hosts No5 wasted a great chance to level the score when he headed the ball wide from close range. Some threatening solo runs from Heyside's No11 were only ruined when he was caught offside though he did manage to time one run to perfection but was denied a goal following a terrific one handed save by Luke Johnston.
A move through midfield by United broke down and after Heyside regained possession the hosts made it 1-1 when their No10 added a clinical finish to a swift counter-attack. After conceding the goal Beechy suddenly wasted possession and taking advantage the hosts powerful attacking burst had Beechy's back four working overtime. (HT 1-1) Making a bright and inventive start to the second half Heyside quickly enjoyed a greater share of the ball that kept United pinned in their own half. Another outstanding save by Luke Johnston kept the hosts at bay but Heyside kept driving forward and forced three successive corners but United defended superbly. Relying more on the counter-attack Beechy worked hard to create chances and Ellis Carr's unselfish running off the ball went a long way towards his share of the Man of the Match award with Mike Rogerson. Slightly against the run of play United regained the lead when after he received a pass from Steve Erskine just over the halfway line Louis Duff capped a fine display with a gem of a goal when he fired the ball from fully forty yards low past the keeper into the bottom corner of the net.
Beechy didn't have much time to reflect on the goal because they soon found themselves "under the cosh " as Heyside used the full width of their 4G Pitch to really test Beechy's overstretched defence. Luke Johnston made a couple of fine reflex saves but slowly displaying more aggression United looked impressive via the counter-attack and Steve Erskine, Ethan Birds and Louis Duff made good use of the ball. Beechy went 3-1 up when Danny Royle who had a quiet second half produced the highlight of the game thanks to a spectacular left footed strike from the edge of the area. Defending far too deep United suddenly faced a barrage of Heyside attacks and at the end of a surging run the hosts No7 was upended in the area and the referee immediately awarded a penalty and Heyside No16 made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick. Some more valiant defending from Beechy looked to have secured a deserved victory but three points became one after Heyside scrambled a third goal in the 93rd minute.