POSTED: March 23 2020 20:44:38. By Keith Long
- Disappointing Result For First Team
Desperately in need of a winning result Beechfield United First Team were confident of securing three points from their Premier Division away game with Old Alts on Saturday 14th March 2020 but Beechy's players went home disappointed after suffering a 4-0 defeat.
Making three changes from the previous fixture United kicked off the match and made a bright and breezy start. From a distance Old Alts home pitch looked in fairly good condition despite uneven in places but control of the ball didn't seem to be a problem for the players. Beechy quickly put pressure on the opponents and Louis Duff won a early free kick but Craig Massey's effort curled straight at the keeper then in United's next attack Danny Royle supplied a pass onto Gareth Mooney who after working a shooting position fired the ball wide. The hosts No11 who eventually proved to be a real "thorn in United's side" delivered some dangerous crosses forcing Beechy to rely on their ability to defend under pressure. Another well worked counter-attack involving Craig Massey, Ethan Birds and Louis Duff through the midfield almost produced the opening goal.
Carl Ravenscroft dealt with an in swinging corner via a well timed headed clearance and ninety seconds later United keeper Rob Harrison made his first real save in the 12th minute. Twice Gareth Mooney displayed terrific skill with the ball in tight situations as Beechy continued to go close to going in front but it was Old Alts who took the lead against the run of play. The hosts launched another fast attack down the left flank and an accurate high cross by Old Alts No10 was met in the area by the unmarked No9 and he headed the ball into the roof of the net. Boosted by the goal Old Alts suddenly enjoyed more possession but United were still a threat going forward and in a goalmouth melee a hosts defender somehow managed to scramble the ball away then Craig Massey saw another effort on target well held by the keeper. Some resolute defending by Chris Ferris and Mike Rogerson kept Old Alts at bay and Beechy survived another scare when Old Alts No11 their dead ball expert swung in another accurate flag kick and a bullet header by the hosts No10 bounced off the crossbar.
After twenty eight minutes United found themselves 2-0 down after they were punished following an unnecessary free kick when from thirty yards Old Alts No11 curled the ball low into the bottom corner of the net despite Rob Harrison's brave attempt to prevent the goal. Beechy still managed to play some good attacking soccer and carved out a few decent chances but were delivered a real sucker punch close to half time after the hosts were gifted the ball and Old Alts No14 made it 3-0 with a clinical finish from about ten yards. Beechy introduced substitutes Jordan Jones-Waite and Kurtis Lee at the start of the second half and reverting to a 4-4-2 system United won a corner and the ball appeared to have crossed the goal line before it was cleared downfield. Due to a lack of sportsmanship by Old Alts the game continued while Mike Rogerson lay injured the victim of a reckless challenge that went unpunished and the hosts reluctance to put the ball out of play was met with disgust from United's players and officials.
The continued use of the long ball tactic by Old Alts remained a big feature of their play throughout the second period and defending on the heavy surface really tested United's back four to the limit. At the end of a swift counter-attack a powerful strike by Kurtis Lee skidded off the crossbar and an Old Alts defender under pressure conceded a corner. A rash tackle outside the area gifted the hosts yet another direct free kick and as expected up stepped Old Alts No11 who superbly found the bottom corner of the ball with his trusted left foot to give his team their 4-0 lead. Rob Harrison continued to be the busiest keeper though during the last ten minutes when Beechy created a positive attacking surge Old Alts goalie made a couple of saves to deny United a consolation goal. Jordan Jones-Waite, Kurtis Lee and Ethan Birds all lacked the accuracy to add the finish to some decent chances and a dejected Beechy squad left the hosts venue feeling rather dejected.