POSTED: July 20 2016 23:00:56. By Keith Long - Beechy Archive 1996-1997 Season

Beechfield United UNDER 10s & UNDER 12s who were members of the Salford Junior Sunday League were both in action on Sunday 9th February 1997. At Harriet Street, Walkden the Under 10s beat Amblecote B 2-0 thanks to goals by Luke Lacey and Sam Dale. There was an outstanding display by Liam Morrison.

But the headline makers were the UNDER 12s who notched their one hundredth goal during the match against Irlam Vale and maintained their title challenge with a 4-0 victory. Goalscorers were Matthew Thompson, Brian Tennant, Steve Owens and Anthony Fraine.

The UNDER 14s went down 3-0 at home to Blackmoor United who scored all their goals in the first half. Despite a battling performance in the second period Beechy were unable to manage a deserved consolation goal. Chris Egan was voted Man of the Match. (9-2-97)

In the Winders Eccles Sunday League the 1ST TEAM maintained a mid-table position following their 2-0 away win at Parksfield FC. New goalkeeper Terry Sykes was making his debut and a goal by Adrian Brocklehurst gave United a slender lead at the interval. Parksfield had a few chances to equalise but it was always United who looked likely to get another goal and it was no surprise when Mark Willis scored near the end. (9-2-97)

Seven days later the UNDER 10s suffered a 1-0 defeat at Beech Farm when they met Charlton FC. United could consider themselves very unlucky because they were the better team yet they still lost out when the visitors grabbed the only goal in the second half. (16-2-97)

But it was good news for the UNDER 12s who earned a well deserved 1-0 away victory over Marauders. The match at Littleton Road turned out to be a scrappy affair due to the blustery conditions. Matthew Thompson got the all important winning goal. (16-2-97)

After a goalless first half goal's from Danny Livesey (2) BJ Tennant (2) Steve Owens and Matthew Thompson guaranteed the UNDER 12s a place in the County Cup semi-final's following an emphatic 6-0 win against Brandlesholme Warriors. (23-2-97) (Team Manager - Keith Lawrence, Assistant Manager - Mike Hill)

Also enjoying an fairly comfortable victory were the UNDER 14s. Goals by Martin Wroe (2) Paul Ratcliffe, Grant McIlroy, Paul Wilson and Chris Egan (penalty) secured a 6-2 victory at Tyldesley United. Despite a very heavy pitch both teams produced some excellent football and the first half ended level at 2-2. Beechy stepped up a gear in the second half and were worthy winners yet they could have scored more goals but the Tyldesley United keeper denied them with some outstanding saves. (23/2/97)

Not much activity in the Junior Section on Sunday 2nd March after most games had been postponed due to the recent spell of adverse weather. One fixture that did get the go ahead was the UNDER 17s cup game between Beechfield Youth and Beechfield Juniors which finished level 1-1 at the end of extra time. (Goalscorers not known) A reply was arranged for Sunday 23rd March.

On Sunday 9th March 1997 the performance of the day belonged to the UNDER 17s who went top of Winders Eccles Sunday League Youth Division after their 3-1 win over Charlestown who took the lead in the match with a first half penalty. United who showed both character and discipline dominated the second half and a hat-trick by John-Michael Hodgson guaranteed three vital points. Lee Hamer was a key figure at the heart of the defence.

A Sportsman's Dinner was held at the Willows Variety Centre on Friday 14th March. Guest Speaker was Jackie Blanchflower (Ex Manchester United FC) MC was Fred Eyre plus Comedian Sid Tate. The following organisations were table sponsors :- BT Payphones, BT Syntegra, Colgate, R.R.G. Swinton Ford, M.S.S. Metals and Tesco.

Not much activity in the Junior Section on Sunday 16th March 1997 with only three games played due the recent spell of bad weather. There was real disappointment for the UNDER 12s who suffered a rare defeat when they lost 5-1 to Moorside Rangers. In the first half which finished level 1-1 Steve Owens scored United's consolation goal via a spectacular strike from 30 yards. But in the second period Beechy fell apart and Moorside Rangers took control and scored four more goals and gain a comfortable victory. The high-flying UNDER 17s were also in action and they cruised to a 5-0 against Oakwood Juniors. Always looking confident United produced some superb football and were rewarded with goals from John-Michael Hodgson (2) Aaron Atkinson, Peter McLoughlin and Simon Parry. If United win their last game they will be crowned champions.

United's Open Age 1ST TEAM worked hard to achieve a 3-2 success against Parkwyddn Colts. In a match which saw play swing rapidy from end to end United's stylish football paid dividends in the end. Two goals from David Thompson and the winner by Paul Worley were just reward but Parkwyddn were denied a late equaliser when United keeper Terry Sykes produced a world class save. (23/3/97)

Views from the Touchline by Ray 'Newshound' Eckersley was an item featured in the Under 10's Newsletter dated 25/3/97. PLAYER PROFILE - MIKE SMITH. Mike's regular position is left back which shows how adaptable he is because he is right footed. Mike's great strengths are his consistency and tenacity, always willing to run through the proverbial brick wall for the cause of Beechy and his team mates. Nearly always the unsung hero, Mike regularly figures in the 'Man of the Match' discussions. My description is Mr Reliable. He once thought he had been sent off, when coming on as substitute the referee called him over to get his name and then said 'off you go' and Mike wrongly thought he had been sent off. The situation was quickly resolved with smiles all round and Mike was soon involved in the action and played his usual fully committed game. Overall Mike is a great character and a terrific asset to the team.

The Under 17s YOUTH TEAM completed their league fixtures in majestic style when they annihilated Parkwyddn 11-2 and this result guaranteed Beechy the Youth Division championship. Going into the match United's player's were full of confidence and Beechy dominated the contest from start to finish. The goals came courtesy of Lee Brady (4) Carl Thorpe (3) Simon Parry, John-Michael Hodgson, Lee Bolton and Ian Berry. (29/3/97) Team Manager - George Lockley. Meanwhile the UNDER 17's Juniors went down 3-1 to Charlestown in the semi-finals of Denis Gartside Cup. Charlestown took a two goal lead into the second half but United in a spirited fight back deserved better luck inside the penalty area. One effort crossed the line but was disallowed so Charlestown could now meet United's Youth team in the other semi final. (29/3/97)

There was a lack of excitement in the Carr and Hume Cup game between Clifton Villa and Beechfield United's 1ST TEAM. At the end of normal time the team's were sharing a 1-1 scoreline with Mark Willis getting United's goal and because there was no extra time the team's were faced with an instant penalty kick decider. Adrian Brocklehurst, Paul Worley, Mark Willis, Wilson and David Thompson were all successful from the spot and United won the shoot-out 5-4. (29/3/97)

In another Carr and Hume cup tie the 1ST TEAM beat Henry Boddingtons 6-5. Despite the match producing a goal feast both defence's probably wanted to forget the ninety minutes as quickly as possible. The competition was operated on a league basis with the winners of each section going through to the next stage. United kept their hopes of winning the trophy alive thanks to goals by Adrian Brocklehurst (3) Lee Brady, Mark Willis and Paul Worley. (6/4/97)

Completing their league fixtures on a winning note were the 1ST TEAM who beat Red Lion 4-1. Dean Aldis scored what was described as the " Goal of the Season " Dave Goodwin (2) and Paul Worley were also on target. (13/4/97)

Producing a stunning exhibition of high quality football the Under 17s YOUTH TEAM overpowered Proctors Youth to win the Burton Menswear Challenge Cup. The final was played at the home of Salford City FC and on a big pitch which suited their style of play United strolled to an 11-3 victory. Straight from the kick-off Beechy created some superb passing moves which had both power and pace and the Proctors Youth keeper was the busiest player on the pitch. United who led 4-1 at half time continued to dominate possession in the second period with Hodgson, Atkinson and Monks outstanding in midfield. Man of the Match Lee Brady (3) John Michael Hodgson (3) Jonathan Monks, Karl Thorpe, Aaron Atkinson, Ian Berry and Joe Oliveria got the goals. Match Officials were Referee - Ken Goldstrong Assistant's - Gareth Warmsley & Dave Bradbury. (20/4/97)

The YOUTH TEAM who were winners of the AJ KEARSLEY & SON SHIELD - Team of the Year were also crowned Eccles Sunday League Youth Division Champions. Their playing record was P15 W13 D0 L2 Goals For 105 Against 20 Points 39. They almost completed a season's winning treble but lost in the final of the Denis Gartside Cup to Charlestown CYC.

Six-A-Side Tournament 1997 was held at Beech Farm Playing Fields on 3rd/4th/5th May. Colgate, R.R.G, Swinton Ford, MSS Metals and Tesco were local companies who supported the event. United's U/10's were the eventual winners in their respective age group. The lads who thoroughly deserved their individual trophies were Paul Batty, Steven Thompson, Martin Tattersall, Gary Haslam, Liam Morrison, Keiron McConnan, Sam Dale and Michael Leader. The Open Age Invitation Section was won by United's A TEAM. The U/14's-U/15's-U/17's games were cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions and re-scheduled for 7th and 8th June. A message from the club committee thanked all Team Managers, Referees, Friends of the Club, Parents, all the Ladies in the Bistro plus other personal who were involved in making sure this years event was a huge success.

Colin Carter, Darren Owen, Ryan Williams, Marc Hinde, Ben Growden and Keith Donoghue were the UNDER 13s players who made up the squad that entered the Blackpool Rangers 5-a-side competition. Following several highly competitive games United won their relevant age group with a 1-0 victory in the final against Deans Youth Club. (4/6/97)

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