POSTED: September 29 2016 21:34:52. By Keith Long - Early Challenge Trophy Exit For First Team

Beechfield United turned their attention to the Manchester FA Saturday Challenge Trophy and a Round 2 away tie against Old Trafford and Gorse Hill a team from the Lancashire and Cheshire Football League. A disappointed Beechy outfit produced a below-par display and went out of the competition following a 4-1 defeat. Despite missing three key players United had a strong line-up on view but Beechy soon faced some early pressure as Old Trafford showed their attacking qualities. United went a goal down in the seventh minute after the home side created a quick counter-attack down the left flank and Old Trafford’s number six curled the ball past Beechy keeper Robert Harrison from twenty yards. The referee had the help of two assistants and they were kept busy dealing with numerous tight offside decisions especially against Old Trafford. United struggled to get a foothold in the contest and the back four of Mike Rogerson, Man of the Match Gary Wallis, Kurtis Lee and Andrzej Browne were at times tested to the limit and dictating the pace of the game Old Trafford took a 2-0 lead after sixteen minutes. Jamie Sinnott had United’s first real attempt on target but unfortunately his long range effort flew just over the crossbar. While Beechy surrendered possession far too easily Old Trafford moved the ball around with total confidence inspired by a masterful display in midfield from their number eight. A fine solo run from the halfway line by Mike Phythian almost reduced the arrears but with the keeper beaten the ball hit the post and went behind for a goal kick. Robert Harrison made a superb one handed save to deny Old Trafford’s number five a headed goal but minutes later United conceded a third goal following some woeful defending. Against the run of play Beechy got a goal back in the 42nd minute when Alfie Belcher worked hard to set-up the chance for Alex Hunter to fire the ball past the keeper from close range. Knowing they needed an improved performance in the second half United briefly looked a greater threat going forward though clear cut chances were few and far between. But one slick move through midfield involving Chris Ferris ended when a powerful swerving effort from Jamie Sinnott forced a great reflex save from the Old Trafford goalie. Robert Harrison was still the busiest of the two keepers as United’s opponents used the pace of their two front men to constantly find gaps in United’s defence. A linesman’s raised flag rescued Beechy when he spotted Old Trafford’s number ten in an offside position before he put the ball in the net following a free kick. United used both substitutes Louis Duff and Carl Ravenscroft in the latter stages but there would no late comeback for Beechy when Old Trafford added their fourth goal in the 83rd minute.

United’s next fixture on Saturday 1st October is a Gilgryst Cup Round One tie away at Wilmslow Albion Kick-Off 2pm.

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