After producing their best performance so far this season in the Manchester Football League Beechfield United were rewarded with a 2-0 home win over Atherton Town.
The visitors kicked-off this Division 1 fixture but in only the second minute United were forced to make a substitution when Alfie Belcher suffered a bad injury and was immediately replaced by Louis Duff.
Quickly finding a good rhythm Beechy created a few decent chances with Mike Phythian, Gary Wallis and Chris Ferris dominating possession in midfield and keeping the pressure on their opponents United worked hard to score the opening goal and in a one-on-one with the keeper Alex Hunter just failed to produce the required finish.
Mike Phythian hammered the ball over the crossbar following a pinpoint cross from Louis Duff then at the end of a mazy run Jamie Sinnott curled the ball inches wide of the target.
Producing a positive attacking surge Atherton Town forced several corners but United defended superbly and keeper Robert Harrison displayed immaculate handling when under pressure. Following more first-class soccer Beechy carved out ample scoring opportunities and both Jamie Sinnott and Alex Hunter were thwarted by some last-ditch defending.
Atherton Town rarely wasted possession in the last ten minutes of the half but once again United’s back four remained rock-solid and a very entertaining first forty-five minutes ended goalless.
The second half was just three minutes old when United were awarded a penalty for a foul on Louis Duff but the agile Atherton keeper saved Mike Phythian’s spot-kick. Just minutes later great skill by Jamie Sinnott set-up a chance for Louis Duff but his header dropped the wrong side of the post, then when play switched to the other end of the pitch Robert Harrison made a brilliant save when Atherton’s number ten looked certain to score.
Taking the lead Beechy made the vital breakthrough on the hour mark after a long pass by Carl Ravenscroft was controlled by Jamie Sinnott who quickly moved the ball onto Mike Phythian and United’s number eight produced a powerful and accurate finish.
A scrappy period of play suddenly developed but United’s work rate and commitment remained highly impressive and on seventy minutes a move between Louis Duff, Mike Phythian and Jamie Sinnott carved open Atherton’s defence but the latter fired the ball wide.
A poor clearance by an Atherton defender who was under pressure gifted Alex Hunter a fairly easy chance but the United man’s effort was off target. Atherton’s best player who wore the number ten shirt was at the heart of several quality moves by the visitors in the last ten minutes but United’s back four of Andrzej Browne, Luke Johnston, Patrick Beckett and substitute Kurtis Lee produced some excellent defending.
Beechy guaranteed victory in the 86th minute when Louis Duff won an aerial duel with Atherton’s number three and Mike Phythian who was quickest to the loose ball delivered a low cross into the area and Man of the Match Jamie Sinnott fired the ball low into the net.