POSTED: November 17 2018 22:11:19. By Keith Long - First Defeat Of The Season For Sat Morn Team

Following their top of the Division 1 table clash with Hazel Grove at SSV Beechfield United Saturday Morning Senior Team lost for the first time this season. As expected the match was fiercely contested and United who were victim of a few contentious decisions suffered a 2-0 defeat. Before the game a minutes silence was observed as a mark of respect to commemorate Armistice Day. Both teams contributed to a fast start on the artificial surface and United's first real attack featured Scott Foulds who's cross from close to the bye-line was confidently dealt with by the Hazel Grove keeper. The visitors No16 produced good movement to receive a diagonal pass and his shot on target brought a fine save from Beechy keeper Chris Pollock who conceded a corner. From the resulting flag kick Hazel Grove regained possession and their No10 took advantage of some lacklustre defending and headed home the opening goal. There was much better defending minutes later from Kyle Walton and Matthew Swift when United had to deal with two more corners to the visitors.

Winning the ball wide on the right wing Max Leonard worked hard to set-up a chance for Scott Foulds who just failed to force the ball past the keeper. Playing with bags of confidence and swagger Hazel Grove constantly tested the defensive ability of United's back four of John Bolton, Kyle Walton, Matthew Swift and Kyle Wray. Beechy won their first corner in the 18th minute and after the ball rolled loose inside the area Kyle Mears curled it just wide from a tight angle. In the midfield Wes Pierce, Milan Bajgai and Roy Owen had to work overtime to retain possession against their rather aggressive opponents. A darting solo down the left wing by Hazel Grove's No12 created a half chance for the visitors No8 and he forced a smart save from Chris Pollock. Then on the half hour mark United's keeper was in action again this time saving an effort from the Hazel Grove No16 after the ball had deflected off a Beechy defender. United's best move of the first half involved Milan Bajgai, Wes Pierce and Max Leonard who supplied a delightful pass to Scott Foulds but he fired the ball over the crossbar.

The referee failed to spot Hazel Grove's No8 blatantly grab a handful of Matthew Swift's shirt and he put the visitors 2-0 up despite United's valid protest. Beechy looked more relaxed at the start of the second half and Wes Pierce and Max Leonard combined to open up the Hazel Grove defence but Scott Foulds headed the ball straight at the keeper. Remaining well organised Hazel Grove didn't allow United that many chances to find a way back into the match. Substitute Bako Aziz sent a great cross into the area and Max Leonard saw his low drive on target win United another corner. Hazel Grove got the ball forward much quicker than United and Chris Pollock was always involved plus central defender Man of the Match Matthew Swift made numerous vital tackles in an around the penalty area. A couple of tactical changes did give Beechy hope of a late revival but the visitors defended with real authority. There were chances for Scott Foulds, Roy Owen and Max Leonard during a late attacking surge but a mere consolation goal eluded United who dropped down to second place in the table. (10th November 2018)

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