Beechfield United were happy to settle for a 1-1 draw following their Division One away game against Pennington FC.
The home side held the lead from the eighth minute but with defeat looking ominous for Beechy Chris Ferris equalised with his first goal of the season in the eighty seventh minute. Making a confident start Pennington produced several promising attacks down both flanks and United knew they faced a tough ninety minutes against their young opponents.
Andrzej Browne, Gary Wallis and Louis Duff were involved in United’s first quality move but the Pennington keeper was able to clear the danger then central defender Kurtis Lee went on a solo run from his own half but he fired the ball wide.
Despite a suspicion of offside Pennington grabbed the lead when their main striker raced clear from close to the halfway line and his accurate low cross set-up an easy finish for the home team’s number ten. Always a threat via several mazy runs on the right wing was Louis Duff who was clearly fouled in the area but United were denied a penalty when the referee who was well position failed to point to the spot.
Enjoying a greater share of the ball Pennington continually threatened to add a second goal but United’s back four of Andrzej Browne, Patrick Beckett, Kurtis Lee and Luke Johnston were happy to soak up the pressure.
Beechy won numerous free kicks deep in their opponent’s half and on one occasion after Mike Phythian floated the ball into the area Chris Ferris sent a firm header wide of the target. Pennington played with real authority and their number eight who was left unmarked on the edge of the area wasted a good opportunity to make it 2-0 then just after the half hour mark United’s overall display improved slightly and Beechy came close to getting back level following long range efforts from Jamie Sinnott and Kurtis Lee.
Straight from the restart Pennington were on the attack and United keeper and Man of the Match Robert Harrison rescued Beechy with a brilliant one-handed save.
A neat move down the left wing involved left back Luke Johnston and Jamie Sinnott who displayed clever footwork before sending the ball onto Gary Wallis who fired the ball straight at the keeper. United made a couple of substitutions with Rob Lockley and Carl Ravenscroft replacing Louis Duff and Pat Beckett but Pennington still looked the more creative outfit and their varied use of the long ball tactic gave United’s defenders real problems.
Pennington’s well operated offside tactic frustrated Beechy on numerous occasions though chances were on offer to Jamie Sinnott, Gary Wallis and Rob Lockley as United worked hard to find an equalising goal. In the 85th minute the home side thought they had sealed victory with a second goal but once again Robert Harrison was United’s hero when he produced two magnificent saves in quick succession.
Two minutes later play switched to the other end of the pitch and Beechy were rewarded with a last-gasp equaliser when Mike Phythian’s in swinging corner caused a goalmouth scramble and from close range Chris Ferris got the vital touch on the ball to send it into the net.