POSTED: November 02 2016 16:43:45. By Keith Long
- Dramatic Late Winning Goal For In-Form United
Following a brilliant all-round performance Beechfield United celebrated a fully deserved 3-2 away win over Irlam Steel but in a match packed full of incidents United's winning goal only arrived in the 87th minute. Straight from the kick off Beechy quickly dominated possession and putting heavy pressure on Irlam's defence created some decent chances. Mike Phythian combined with Jamie Sinnott who's effort was saved by the keeper with his feet just before United took the lead in the 7th minute with a goal from Kurtis Lee.
Carl Ravenscroft and Patrick Beckett produced some fine headed clearances when Irlam Steel searched for a quick reply but overall Beechy kept the pressure on their opponents. Moving the ball around with both speed and accuracy on the wet surface United should have been at least 4-0 up inside the opening quarter-hour. The referee was kept busy as both teams competed fiercely for possession especially in the midfield area.
Rob Lockley, Jamie Sinnott and Kurtis Lee caused real problems for the Irlam defenders via some great movement off the ball and all three players had chances to increase the lead. Slowly Irlam looked a greater threat using the long ball tactic to good effect and the home side forced their first corner just after the half hour mark. Luke Johnston made two superb ball winning tackles and keeper Robert Harrison finger tipped a header from Irlam's number five over the crossbar.
Continuing to create some top-class soccer Beechy should have added further goals and an excellent counter-attack involving Andrzej Browne, Gary Wallis and Jamie Sinnott ended when the latter saw a powerful low drive saved by the keeper. More tight offside decisions continued to ruin more impressive football from United who still held that one goal when the referee blew for half time.
Irlam Steel quickly found a good rhythm as the second half unfolded and they punished United for a slow start grabbing an equaliser in the 48th minute. The home team's number nine was allowed a clear run through midfield and his pass was controlled by Irlam's No10 who fired the ball past Rob Harrison. Soon back on the attack Beechy had two decent chances when Kurtis Lee's long pass found Jamie Sinnott who outpaced the last defender but shot wide then Mike Phythian's accurate low cross was met by Kurtis Lee who's thunderous drive forced a superb save from the keeper.
United found themselves 2-1 down after fifty three minutes when Irlam's number seven was left unmarked in the area and meeting a curling cross from the right flank sent a powerful header high into the net. Beechy needed to increase their work rate in all areas and the back four of Andrzej Browne, Man of the Match Patrick Beckett, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft had to deal with more Irlam pressure. Michael Phythian was replaced by Louis Duff who made an immediate impact when he raced onto Steve Erskine's perfectly weighted through ball and was fouled by the last Irlam defender who was then shown the red card.
As the action moved dramatically from end to end United gradually upped the tempo and were rewarded with a deserved equalising goal. Jamie Sinnott's in swinging corner kick caused problems for the Irlam defenders and the ball eventually ran through to Louis Duff who was unmarked at the far post and he hammered it home from close range for 2-2. Irlam still looked dangerous on the counter-attack and on one occasion their number eleven looked certain to score but Robert Harrison made a brilliant save.
But with time running out United secured the victory with a dramatic match winning goal three minutes from time. After receiving the ball near the halfway line Jamie Sinnott raced unchallenged deep into the Irlam half and when Louis Duff dragged two Irlam players out of position via an intelligent run Jamie sent the ball onto Rob Lockley. Beechy's No10 who had overlapped down the right flank got into good position before hammering the ball at the target and it deflected off the keeper hit the underside of the crossbar and dropped into the corner of the net.