POSTED: October 31 2017 17:15:55. By Keith Long
- United Leaders Of Division 1 After 3-1 Away Win
After making the thirty two mile journey to play their Manchester Football League fixture with Chapel Town an in-form Beechfield United 1st Team secured a 3-1 win and following this top of the table clash took over as leaders of Division 1. Making a fast start to the match Chapel Town forced an early corner and Tim Taylor produced a vital headed clearance when under pressure. Another swift attack by the home side down the opposite flank ended with United keeper Robert Harrison confidently dealing with a high curling cross from Chapel Town's No10. Involved in Beechy's first real attacking move were Steven Erskine and Jamie Sinnott but the latter saw his effort drift wide of the target. Following United's first corner in the 7th minute a shot by Rob Lockley led to a goalmouth scramble but a Chapel Town defender hammered the loose ball downfield. The home teams No11 was a threat via several jinking runs though he did waste possession at times.
The referee deemed Kurtis Lee was not in an offside position when he received a great pass from Chris Ferris but the Beechy striker's low drive hit the post. Chapel Town were always dangerous via numerous well constructed counter-attacks but slowly United looked more composed in all areas of the pitch. After a pinpoint cross from Jamie Sinnott the ball nestled in the back of the Chapel Town net but this time Kurtis Lee had strayed into an offside position. Beechy matched their opponents both physically and mentally in this absorbing contest and twice in quick succession Luke Johnston was in the right place to block shots on the edge of the area. The opening goal was vital to both teams and a flowing move between Mike Rogerson, Chris Ferris, Steven Erskine and Craig Massey set-up a chance for Jamie Sinnott but he fired the ball straight at the keeper. Then just before half time Chapel Town's No9 was denied the opportunity to score following another superbly timed tackle from Luke Johnston and it remained 0-0 at the break.
Chapel Town kicked-off the second half playing down a slight slope and they quickly adopted the long ball tactic. The home side forced three successive corners and once again though under pressure Tim Taylor was a key figure for Beechy when he won most of the aerial duels. On the hosts heavy pitch there was still a fast pace to the game and United took the lead in the 50th minute when Kurtis Lee combined with Jamie Sinnott and his inch perfect pass was controlled by Rob Lockley who hammered the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner of the net. Thanks to a neatly worked four man move through midfield Chapel Town were soon back level when their No8 fired the ball past Robert Harrison from close range. As expected the match retained its competitive edge and on one occasion Carl Ravenscroft who advanced up field from his wingback position fired a shot on target that was deflected for a corner. Minutes later after another cross from Rob Lockley there was a decent chance for Kurtis Lee but the Beechy man lacked the finishing touch. Suddenly facing some unwanted pressure Robert Harrison was forced to make a top-class save and Luke Johnston volleyed the ball out of play during a period when Chapel Town won four corners on the trot.
On sixty five minutes Beechy made a tactical change when Jordan Jones-Waite replaced Kurtis Lee and the substitute was soon involved with a header that bounced back into play off the post. Chapel Town's No10 left unmarked in the area headed the ball over the crossbar just before United regained the lead after seventy eight minutes. Carl Ravenscroft won possession near the halfway line and quickly moved the ball onto Jordan Jones-Waite who casually beat an opponent before supplying a great cross that was met by Jamie Sinnott who's powerful header left the keeper helpless as the ball flew into the net. The heavy pitch continued to test the players stamina and four minutes later Beechy added their third goal when the Chapel Town keeper managed to half stop a thunderous drive from Jamie Sinnott but Craig Massey reacted superbly and volleyed the ball high into the net from close range. But United had to withstand a late attacking burst from the hosts and Chapel Town's No9 sent two headers just over the crossbar. Man of the Match Luke Johnston rescued Beechy with two great pieces of defending inside the last three minutes.