POSTED: October 29 2019 16:14:30. By Keith Long
- Two Goal Louis In 2-2 Draw With League Leaders
Manchester Football League Premier Division leaders Springhead FC were the visitors to Salford Sports Village on Saturday 19th October and looking to increase their lead at the top of the table.
Obviously starting favourites to win the game with Beechfield United 1st Team Springhead produced a disciplined performance but Beechy matched their opponents skill and commitment and a goal in each half from Louis Duff was enough to earn United a 2-2 draw. Beechy made a confident start and Craig Massey won United the games first corner inside the opening thirty seconds. The visitors quickly found a good attacking rhythm and John Purcell who was making his debut in the back four and captain Mike Rogerson were forced to make some hasty clearances. Springhead took the lead in the 4th minute though there was a suspicion of offside when the visitors No9 received the ball but he raced clear and hammered it low past United's stand-in keeper Carl Ravenscroft. Minutes later Springhead's No8 nearly made it 2-0 but he was denied when Chris Ferris produced a superb last-ditch tackle inside the area.
Playing in midfield Craig Massey used the ball intelligently and following his solo run he forced a fine reflex save from the Springhead keeper. Overall United didn't put enough pressure on the ball and while the visitors continued to create a glut of chances several offside decisions briefly rescued Beechy. Against the run of play United equalised after twenty two minutes when after a strong challenge between Craig Massey and a Springhead defender the ball rebounded to Louis Duff and he fired it over the keeper for 1-1. Springhead were soon back on the attack and in a whole-hearted display Beechy's Man of the Match Scott Hamer, Chris Ferris, Mike Rogerson and John Purcell were forced to produce some dogged defending. In the 39th minute a swerving low drive from about fifteen yards by the Springhead No9 beat Carl Ravenscroft on his left hand side and though United's emergency keeper got his fingertips on the ball it flew into the net. Springhead took their 2-1 lead into the second half and continued to enjoy a greater share of the ball.
From about forty five yards Kurtis Lee's spectacular attempt to get Beechy back level almost succeeded but the Springhead keeper made a superb reflex save. The visitors appeal for what looked a clear-cut penalty was waved away and United survived another period of heavy Springhead pressure before grabbing a second equalising goal in the 63rd minute. Beechy won a free kick and quick-thinking by Ethan Birds caught Springhead's defence napping when he angled the ball through to Louis Duff who at the end of a clear run coolly side footed the ball past the onrushing keeper. Twice the Springhead No7 got into ideal shooting positions, his first effort flashed wide of the target then a great save by Carl Ravenscroft foiled his second attempt. As the action switched swiftly from end to end there was still lots of tough tackling from both teams and the referee dished out a couple of yellow cards. United's back four soaked up some late pressure and the visitors thought they had collected the three points after Springhead's No9 finished off a fast counter-attack but the goal was disallowed for offside.