POSTED: September 26 2019 22:02:50. By Keith Long
- A Draw Might Have Been A Fair Result
Team selection problems didn't help matters when Beechfield United 1st Team prepared for their Manchester Football League Premier Division home game with Royton Town on Saturday 21st September.
With a makeshift line-up on view this wasn't a spectacular Beechy display but despite Royton Town enjoying a greater share of the ball that earned them a 2-1 victory United worked hard throughout and deserved at least a draw. The visitors made a confident start and a great piece of defending by Carl Ravenscroft denied the Royton No9 a chance of an early goal. Moving the ball around much quicker United's opponents forced the games first corner and Gareth Mooney playing in an unfamiliar role in the back four made a vital clearance. United's lone striker Kurtis Lee had a couple of chances to test the Royton keeper but it was Louis Duff who came closest to giving Beechy the lead. Forcing three successive corners the visitors kept United under pressure and it was the turn of captain Mike Rogerson to rescue Beechy with some excellent defending. The majority of Royton's attacks developed down the left flank and after forcing yet another corner the visitors nearly went ahead via a header from their No5.
But when Royton finally opened the scoring on the half hour mark the goal had an element of luck attached to it. As United strived to find an equaliser Kurtis Lee controlled a pass from Steven Erskine and his spectacular long-range attempt deserved a better finish. Straight from the restart Beechy faced more Royton attacks and twice Gareth Mooney played a key role in United's back four. United's stand-in keeper Ethan Birds made a brilliant save after Royton's No9 had ran through unchallenged but a couple of minutes later the visitors went 2-0 up via their No7. Gradually Beechy got a better foothold in the contest and scored what proved to be their consolation goal in the sixty fifth minute. After winning a free kick Kurtis Lee's fired the ball straight at Royton's defensive wall but with his trusted left foot Danny Royle hammered the rebound low past the visitors keeper. Ethan Birds was in action again when he made two top-notch saves and Royton's No11 saw his curling effort hit the crossbar then in the final five minutes United forced a few free kicks and a couple of corners and came close to snatching a draw.