Beechfield United’s losing sequence continued when they suffered their fifth successive defeat in the FBT Manchester Football League after they went down 3-2 at home to Breightmet United.
At a rain soaked Salford Sports Village Beechy made a terrific start to this Division 1 contest and producing some brilliant football took a fully deserved 2-0 lead.
Enjoying a greater share of the ball United looked fully confident and the Breightmet back four had to deal with some powerful attacks as Beechy quickly found their rhythm and on seventeen minutes Chris Ferris and Steve Erskine were involved in a great move through midfield and a long range effort from Brad Sixsmith flew just over the crossbar but three minutes later United took the lead.
The goal came courtesy of Man of the Match Mike Leach who after going on a superb solo run produced an excellent finish when he hammered the ball past the keeper from about eighteen yards. The visitors replied looking for a quick reply but two fast counter-attacks were comfortably dealt with by United defenders Rob Lockley and Luke Johnston. On 24 minutes Beechy went 2-0 up when Steve Erskine and Mike Leach linked up superbly and the latter’s angled cross from the right flank found Brad Sixsmith who’s header dipped over the stranded keeper and into the empty net. Despite the heavy rain the match was highly entertaining and United continued to dictate the pace and had further chances to increase their lead but they allowed Breightmet the opportunity to reduce the arrears.
After 35 minutes United lost possession in a congested midfield area and taking full advantage the visitors neatly worked the ball up to their No9 who had far too much space to create the perfect angle to fire the ball low past Rob Harrison. Beechy continued to waste possession and moving the ball around with more accuracy Breightmet threatened an equaliser on a few occasions and Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft produced some vital clearances.
Three minutes after the restart United were forced to make a substitution when Mike Leach had to retire and he was replaced by Craig Massey who took up a left sided attacking role. Brad Sixsmith and Jamie Sinnott had decent chances from close range but United needed to work harder off the ball as Breightmet who had an appeal for a penalty denied gradually took control. On 63 minutes the visitors No6 went on a mazy run from close to the halfway line and he easily went past four Beechy players before producing a stylish finish for 2-2. United’s second change came just after the goal when Evan Jeffries took over from Patrick Beckett and the substitute was soon involved firing in a low drive that was deflected for a corner.
Beechy struggled to play the type of free flowing football seen in the first half and the back four of Mike Rogerson, Rob Lockley, Luke Johnston and Carl Ravenscroft faced non-stop pressure in the final quarter-hour. The visitors won numerous corners and free kicks and Beechy were shell-shocked when with seven minutes remaining Breightmet scored what proved to be their match winning goal.
Creating another well-crafted move down the left flank the visitors moved the ball towards the penalty area and a low drive from the number 10 was saved by Rob Harrison but Breightmet’ s number 6 reacted the quickest and hammered home the rebound.
United had time to force at least a draw but several counter-attacks failed to produce a decent goal scoring opportunity.