Following a tense penalty shoot-out Beechfield United booked their place in Round One of the Gilgryst Cup.
At home to Chapel Town in the qualifying round United twice held the lead in an action packed ninety minutes but at the final whistle Beechy had to settle for a 2-2 draw. There was a dream start for United who took the lead after just four minutes when Jamie Sinnott produced a stunning finish from twenty-five yards.
United’s back four of Mike Rogerson, Gary Wallis, Luke Johnston and Man of the Match Andrzej Browne were well organised when the visitors in search of an equaliser created several well-crafted counter-attacks.
Conceding far too many unnecessary free kicks Beechy were rescued on one occasion by keeper Robert Harrison who showed his ability with a brilliant one handed save. Chapel Town equalised on twenty-one minutes though there was a suspicion of offside before the visitor’s number eight put the ball into the net.
Rob Lockley and Alfie Belcher featured heavily in in some great moves down both flanks as United played with more freedom while in midfield Patrick Beckett and Steven Erskine used the ball intelligently and the latter almost put United back in front when he neatly created enough space to hammer the ball from outside the area but his tremendous effort rattled the crossbar.
The visitors made a fast start to the second half and Robert Harrison was soon in action making another vital save and both Gary Wallis and Andrzej Browne defended superbly when under pressure.
Gradually United found a better rhythm and rarely wasting possession regained the lead in the sixty-third minute when following a quickly taken throw-in by Andrzej Browne the ball was controlled by Mike Rogerson who’s accurate pass downfield found Jamie Sinnott and his low cross was fired into the net by Alfie Belcher.
The fast pace never relented as both teams continued to compete fiercely for the ball and Beechy had a few decent chances to add a third goal before Chapel Town got their second equaliser after seventy-six minutes.
Luke Johnston and Gary Wallis made vital clearances when United faced a nervous last five minutes as Chapel Town threatened to win it in normal time after forcing a couple of corners. As per competition rules extra time was not required so the teams were faced with the spot-kick decider.
United won the shoot-out 4-2 with Jamie Sinnott, Gary Wallis, Alfie Belcher and Rob Lockley all successful with their spot kicks while Chapel Town missed their third kick and Robert Harrison saved the visitors fourth attempt. In the next round United are away to Wilmslow Albion.