Beechfield United’s final pre-season friendly match against Hollinwood FC provided a stern test for the players and after securing a hard-earned 2-1 home victory United can now look forward to their first Manchester Football League Division 1 fixture next Saturday.
Both teams made a brisk start to the contest but it was Beechy who created the clearer cut chances in the
opening ten minutes and on one occasion Jamie Sinnott’s great cross just evaded the unmarked Callum Davies.
Hollinwood via a few counter-attacks tested United’s back four that included Man of the Match Kurtis Lee but once again Beechy looked impressive going forward and Davies had two more chances to open the scoring. Play at times became congested in midfield and operating in a deep position the visitors number ten was a massive influence on his team’s performance.
After 26 minutes a neat move involving Rob Lockley, Jamie Sinnott and Chris Ferris resulted in United taking the lead thanks to a neat close range finish by Callum Davies.
Searching for an equaliser Hollinwood who had several talented players on view looked highly confident as they created some high-quality football.
After dealing with another period of heavy pressure Beechy went 2-0 up three minutes before half time when Lee and Sinnott combined and Callum Davies fired the ball past the keeper from about eight yards.
The match continued at a lively pace as the second half unfolded and briefly United restricted their opponents to shots from well outside the area as Hollinwood gradually began to dominate
At times Beechy were forced to work overtime to contain their opponents so Manager Steve Erskine made a couple of tactical changes with Pat Beckett and Andrzej Browne replacing Mike Rogerson and Chris Ferris.
Hollinwood’s number five was given far too much time and space before he hammered the ball past United keeper Robert Harrison to reduce the arrears in the 65th minute.
United then made more changes this time Craig Massey and Alfie Belcher on in place of Rob Lockley and Gary Wallis but Hollinwood continued to control the game displaying excellent movement off the ball and
threating to score another goal following every attack.
A brilliant one-handed save by Robert Harrison preserved United’s lead and in the last ten minutes despite lacking attacking ideas both Jamie Sinnott and Alfie Belcher forced acrobatic saves from the Hollinwood keeper.