Beechfield United produced without doubt their best performance so far this season in the FBT Manchester Football League.
At Salford Sports Village a 6-3 home win over Westbury Sports moved United up to third place in the Division 1 table. With a strong line-up on view Beechy kicked off the match and quickly put early pressure on their opponents who had scored eight goals in their previous fixture.
United’s full backs Andrzej Browne and Evan Jeffries produced some great defending as Westbury built several counter-attacks down both flanks. It was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 9th minute and United’s central defensive partnership of Patrick Beckett and Rob Lockley worked hard to contain Westbury’s two main forwards who spearheaded their attack. United equalised on the half hour mark when midfield ace Steve Erskine who had an excellent ninety minutes neatly set-up Brad Sixsmith who went on a mazy run and after getting past the last defender fired the ball into the net off the post.
Displaying great movement off the ball United were a joy to watch as they produced some brilliant football and three minutes into the second half Beechy went 2-1 up thanks to a superb move between Alex Hunter and Brad Sixsmith and a top-class finish from Man of the Match Dave Leach. Both teams made full use of all three substitutes and with a strong wind in their favour United slowly tightened their grip on the contest.
On 68 minutes Beechy led 3-1 via a contender for goal of the season when Alex Hunter producing the type of skill normally displayed by Lionel Messi nonchalantly went past two opponents and casually side footed the ball past the keeper. The fourth goal arrived just three minutes later after Brad Sixsmith went on another surging run and his pinpoint cross was turned into the net by Alex Hunter who completed his hat-trick when he made it 5-1 in the 74th minute.
After Brad Sixsmith netted United’s sixth goal Beechy allowed their opponents back into the match and Westbury scored twice inside the last twelve minutes.
Guaranteeing themselves a place in the Quarter-Finals of the Manchester Evening News Cup were United’s Saturday Morning Senior Team. At home to Brushes Rangers Spartak in the 2nd Round Beechy celebrated a 6-1 victory.
The opening ten minutes of the tie were evenly balanced but United created the better chances and took the lead after sixteen minutes. Andy Lord started the move with an accurate long ball to Max Leonard who saw his pass deflect off a defender onto Damon Whitbread and he scored from close range. Some decent football from Brushes forced the first real save from United keeper Declan Oliver who gave an assured display throughout the match but against the run of play the visitors equalised via their number eight after 29 minutes. Brushes briefly forced some essential defending from United’s back four of Andy Lord, Daniel Eckersley, Dave Harrison and Kyle Wray but overall Beechy dominated possession.
United made a dream start to the second half when they regained the lead on 47 minutes courtesy of leading goalscorer Max Leonard after a slick move involving Wes Pierce and Roy Owen. Almost five minutes later it was 3-1 when substitute Hayden Foulds and Chris McCartney linked-up superbly and Max Leonard supplied another decisive finish. Brushes continued to create some attractive soccer with threatening to cause an upset and the visitors found themselves trailing 4-1 in the 63rd minute.
A move developed down the right flank and a swerving low cross by Andy Lord resulted in a goalmouth scramble and Dave Harrison got the final touch when he tapped the ball into the net from almost on the goal line. Stepping up a gear Beechy easily dealt with a brief attacking burst from Brushes and added their fifth goal after 82 minutes when Scott Foulds set-up Max Leonard for his hat-trick then two minutes later after another superb move Max Leonard completed the scoring. Max Leonard and Hayden Foulds shared the Man of the Match Award.