POSTED: May 20 2021 22:23:21. By Keith Long
- Saturday Morning Senior Team April 2021.
As they continued their quest for league honours Beechfield United Saturday Morning Senior Team won both their Division 1 games on 10/4/2021 & 17/4/2021 but suffered a narrow defeat on 24/4/2021.
Following on from their previous victory over Manchester Celtic seven days earlier Beechy secured three more vital points thanks to a 5-0 away win at Brownley Albion. Dominating this match Beechy never allowed the wintry conditions to have an affect on their fast flowing attacking football. Goals from Max Leonard (2) Matty McCusker, Adam Holt and Hayden Foulds added to a star studded all-round team performance. Centre half Adam Holt who was making his debut was voted Man of the Match. (10/4/2021)
United maintained their title challenge as they stretched their unbeaten run to seven games with an 8-5 victory over Medlock Rangers. Forced to make a few team changes Beechy kicked-off this home game and won a quick direct free kick but Hayden Foulds blasted the ball over the crossbar. United took the lead in this thirteen goal thriller after a brilliant through ball by Damon Whitbread sent Max Leonard on a clear run and his finish was both neat and decisive. Medlock Rangers definitely didn't play like a bottom of the table team as they moved the ball around with an air of confidence on the artificial surface and twice they almost found an equaliser. Medlock's No6 sent a first time effort just wide then the visitors centre forward forced a great save form Beechy goalie Chris Pollock. On the 10th minute mark United went 2-0 up through central defender Anthony Wallis who scored via a powerful header following a corner taken by Wes Pierce.
Hal Birtles and Scott Foulds combined superbly in several quick passing moves on the right flank and two accurate crosses by the latter forced some brave goalkeeping by Medlock's No1. Given far too much time and space to work the ball through midfield Medlock reduced the arrears in the 14th minute courtesy of an accurate low drive from their lively No7. Despite looking a little shell-shocked Beechy recovered their composure and responded by taking a 3-1 lead when Scott Foulds took a quick throw-in and Damon Whitbread's pinpoint cross was met by star-striker Max Leonard who finished with aplomb. But Beechy knew their opponents had come with a game plan and Medlock were very much in the game when they scored two quick goals and exploiting more slack defending the visitors took a 4-3 lead. Needing an urgent wake up call United were soon back level after Issiaka Saba had been blatantly fouled in the area and Max Leonard made it 4-4 as he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
United boss Kyle Wray made another tactical change when Marlon Barlow replaced Damon Whitbread in midfield just before Beechy regained the lead with goal number five. Anthony Wallis played the ball forward to Max Leonard who's neat angled pass was controlled by and the United youngster advanced into the area before supplying a clinical finish. There was some great defending by Hayden Foulds and Wes pierce who had dropped deeper from their midfield positions to give added protection to the back four. Medlock's No7 remained the visitors major threat to Beechy winning this game with his clever positional movement and footwork off the ball. United gained some breathing space when they took a 6-4 lead after Max Leonard netted his fourth goal following another top-class strike. This fascinating end to end encounter remained action packed and great skill under pressure by Scott Foulds set-up a chance for Gary Wallis who's shot on target was deflected for a corner.
Hayden Foulds took the corner which led to United's seventh goal when Anthony Wallis made another perfectly timed run into the area and direct a bullet header past the keeper. Medlock still had a few tricks up their sleeve and Chris Pollock had to deal with a few long distance shots on target as the visitors continued to create some excellent counter-attacks. An effort from Scott Foulds hit a defender standing on the goal line prior to Max Leonard making it 8-4 with his fifth goal of the game. The referee awarded a soft penalty to Medlock and the visitors No9 completed the scoring inside the last three minutes. (17/4/2021)
For their next match Beechy travelled to play West Didsbury a team who have had mixed results recently but historically this has always been a tough fixture for United. Due to a few injuries Manager Kyle Wray was forced to play several players out of position and making a terrible start Beechy found themselves 2-0 down after twenty minutes. However Beechy rallied together and gradually worked their way back into the game but West Didsbury still held their two goal lead at the break. Five minutes into the second half United reduced the arrears when Scott Foulds tapped the ball home after a great cross from Wes Pierce. As they pushed hard for an equaliser Beechy had numerous chances before Damon Whitbread made it 2-2 with a goal of the season contender. United worked overtime to score the next goal but were let down by a controversial decision by the match official.
Beechy were set-up for what seemed to be their free kick however the referee awarded West Didsbury the free kick and during the confusion the hosts were allowed to restart play and a Didsbury player promptly fired the ball into the empty net. A frustrated United outfit tried to regroup but were caught via a counter-attack and the hosts went 4-2 up. Beechy hit back almost immediately through Damon Whitbread though once again following another Didsbury counter-attack United gifted the hosts a 5-3 lead. A late penalty from Wes Pierce netted Beechy their fourth goal and though United had a couple of chances to force a draw they knew that dropping the three points left their title hopes in the balance. Result: West Didsbury 5 v Beechfield United 4. (24/4/2021)