Beechfield United’s Saturday Morning Senior Team guaranteed themselves a place in the semi-finals of the Manchester Evening News Cup following an action-packed quarter-final tie with Baguley Athletic that finished 2-2 after ninety minutes and extra time but Beechy were able to celebrate after winning a tense penalty shoot-out 5-4.
Without a fixture on the previous two Saturdays United were expecting a tough match and in a evenly balanced first forty five minutes Beechy were unable to dictate the pace of the game against their physical opponents but following a free kick Wes Pierce put United ahead in the 34th minute.
The uneven playing surface made it difficult to produce much high quality football and a similar pattern developed in the second half and on 76 minutes Baguley Athletic equalised after the ball hammered across the area deflected into the net off a Beechy defender.
Into extra time and United were dealt a cruel blow when Baguley Athletic grabbed the lead but finding another gear Beechy kept the tie alive when Scott Foulds was fouled in the area and his brother Hayden Foulds easily made it 2-2 from the resulting spot-kick in the 112th minute.
Dean Quinn, Damon Whitbread, Man of the Match Daniel Eckersley, Hayden Foulds and Mark Carney were all successful during the penalty-kick decider.
United who are currently top of the 1st Division table remain on course for a possible trophy winning double.
Hoping to bounce back after two successive defeats were the First Team who faced a difficult task in their away game at Breightmet United.
Team selection was again a major problem with several squad players unavailable and despite a gutsy display Beechy eventually lost the match 5-2. Making a dream start United grabbed the lead in the 3rd minute when a free kick taken by Steve Erskine was met by Man of the Match Jamie Sinnott who executed a superb finish as the keeper made an attempt to gather the ball. Awarded numerous free kicks Beechy threatened to increase their lead but after putting heavy pressure on United’s back four of Mike Rogerson, Patrick Beckett, Luke Johnston and Andrzej Browne Brieightmet drew level on 20 minutes.
An effort by Lee Grimshaw was turned onto the crossbar and behind for a corner by the keeper just before United surrendered possession and the Breightmet number seven put the hosts 2-1 up. Needing to show more aggression Beechy briefly played with more confidence but guilty of some bad defending United conceded a third goal two minutes before the break.
Making a positive start to the second half Beechy reduced the arrears after 56 minutes when Chris Ferris sent an accurate long ball into the Breightmet half and Jamie Sinnott outpaced two defenders before producing another first-class finish for 3-2.
But United struggled against their opponents robust style of play and Beechy gift-wrapped Breightmet a fourth goal and taking advantage of more woeful defending by United the Breightmet number ten completed the scoring via a close range header.
There were chances during the closing stages for Lee Grimshaw and Jamie Sinnott who fully deserved a hat-trick.