POSTED: November 04 2019 22:04:59. By Keith Long
- 1st Team Make It Four Games Unbeaten
A much changed Beechfield United First Team earned a 2-1 away win over Walshaw Sports to stretch their unbeaten run to four games. Beechy Reserves game was postponed so both Callum Davies and Keenan Switzer who made their debuts were included in the squad.
On Saturday 26th October the hosts grass pitch was deemed unplayable so this Premier Division fixture was switched to an artificial surface situated at a school in Bacup. Walshaw Sports kicked-off the match and created a promising attack but their No9 who was left unmarked was caught in an offside position. United took the lead in the 6th minute following a throw-in when the ball found Jordan Jones-Waite who played it across to Keenan Switzer and his fierce low drive flew past the keeper into the corner of the net. Following a jinking run by Jordan Jones-Waite a terrific effort by Callum Davies left the keeper stranded but the ball just missed the target. Beechy were playing with lots of confidence with Craig Massey heavily involved as United put pressure on Walshaw's defence that included ex Chester FC player Steve Howson.
The visitors did respond with some positive attacking play and a vital clearance by Marcus Belcher then a brilliant double save from stand-in keeper Luke Johnston denied the hosts an equaliser. Louis Duff and Ethan Birds also produced some great defending following a couple of free kicks awarded to Walshaw but every time they counter-attacked United looked likely to score again. The fast pace never relented and as Walshaw continued to test United's back four and both captain Mike Rogerson and Carl Ravenscroft showed they could defend under pressure. Just after the half-hour mark Beechy went 2-0 up after a move involving Jordan Jones-Waite and Keenan Switzer the ball was with Callum Davies who supplied a clinical close range finish. Walshaw Sports wasted possession when their long ball tactic failed to find an end product and United retained their two goal lead at the break.
Straight from the restart Walshaw moved the ball around much quicker and a long range effort from their No12 was well off target. But the hosts soon enjoyed a greater share of the ball and Luke Johnston was the busier of the two goalkeepers while Marcus Belcher again eased the pressure with two first time clearances. Beechy almost added a third goal when a move developed up the right wing and after a Walshaw defender managed to block a shot by Keenan Switzer the ball rebounded to Craig Massey who shot wide. Following a corner in the 58th minute United were guilty of poor marking inside the area and allowed a free run was the hosts No5 who powered a header into the net to reduce the arrears. As the teams continued to compete fiercely for possession a few controversial decisions threatened to ruin the game but it was Walshaw Sports who were now doing most of the attacking.
United were continually incensed due to the unnecessary diving to win free kicks by certain Walshaw players and these tactics only added to an already highly-charged atmosphere. The hosts maintained a constant flow of powerful attacks forcing Beechy to concede more free kicks and twice in quick succession Walshaw had real chances to force a late equalising goal but United survived and collected three valuable points.