POSTED: July 20 2016 23:01:41. By Keith Long - Beechy Archive 1997-1998 Season



There was a huge boost to the season for Beechfield United UNDER 11's who were celebrating after winning the Fleetwood Freeport Challenge Trophy following a 3-1 victory over Fleetwood Gymnasium. As expected the match was fiercely contested and United were punished for an unsteady start when Fleetwood Gym took the lead after 12 minutes. But the Beechy lads didn't let their heads drop and quickly responded with some positive attacking play as they worked on their opponents strength and weaknesses. Five minutes before half time Stuart Musgrave was rewarded for a creative midfield display when he scored the equalising goal. After a positive team talk during the interval United began the second half with a more direct approach and both Daniel Tennant and Luke Lacey were constantly involved in a barrage of attacks and the Fleetwood Gym defence was put under constant pressure. Far too many chances were wasted until a delightful long pass by Musgrave found Paul Batty who used his power and pace before firing the ball past the on rushing keeper. As the game got more physical a few of the Fleetwood Gym players looked rather jaded and it was United's superior fitness level on a big pitch which played a key part in their success. The third goal that guaranteed the trophy came during a goalmouth scramble when the ball arrived at the feet of Stuart Musgrave who quickly knocked it forward and somehow it evaded several Fleetwood defenders and rolled into the net. Musgrave was denied his hat-trick due to controversial offside decision.

Interesting items in a Newsletter dated September 1997 were as follows:- The UNDER 13s welcomed two new players into their ranks, Colin McDonald who joined from Boothstown Juniors and Jeremy Green previously with Heyside Juniors. Stephen Owen left to play for North Manchester and Danny Livesey who had been the team's outstanding player joined Bolton Wanderers School of Excellence. The club were organising a Blues Brothers Night on Saturday 18th September at the Willows Variety Centre,Salford, tickets were £12.50 each which included a buffet.

Now playing their football on Saturday's United's 1st and 2nd Team's both made their debuts in the Lancashire and Cheshire Amateur League. Goals from new boys Dave Cox and Brian Nuttall gave the 1st team a 2-0 lead against Oldham College but in atrocious conditions United eventually lost the match 4-2. But the 2nd TEAM fared much better when they met Oldham College's B team. United who had home advantage produced a superb display and celebrated a 3-1 victory thanks to goals by Lee Brady (2) and Craig Small. The performance of the weekend was delivered by the UNDER 15s who came from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with Charlestown. Goalscorers were Brian Cross, Chris Egan, Peter Jones and Paul Wilson. (14/9/97 and 15/9/97)

After four successive victories in the Lancashire and Cheshire League Beechfield United's 1st TEAM had moved into a mid-table position in Division 3. Rob Worley and Dave Thompson scored the goals when United beat Irlam and Cadishead 2-1. (25/10/97)

In a re-arranged fixture the UNDER 11s enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 victory over Leigh RMI. The goals came via Gary Haslam, Daniel Tennant, Sam Dale and Stephen Robertshaw. On the same day Paul Wilson and Peter Jones got the goals for the UNDER 15s who lost 3-2 to Parkwyddn. Adam Thorpe was voted Man of the Match. (26/10/97)

The UNDER 13s suffered a 6-5 defeat after an highly entertaining match against Little Hulton Lions. Goalscorer's were Lee Caldwell (2) Simon Lawrence, Matthew Thompson and BJ Tennant. Producing an excellent performance were the UNDER 14s (A) team who beat previously unbeaten Woodbank 1-0 in a Manchester Youth League cup tie. John Smith scored the all important winning goal. (2/11/97)

Notes of Meeting held on Monday 3rd November 1997. UNDER 13's. The team had played 11 games and won 7. There was a disciplinary problem with one player who has had three bookings. UNDER 14's (B) The team is struggling and on several occasions have only been able to field 9/10 players. Barney McCabe is the new assistant manager. A new strip is needed because the one being used is too small. UNDER 15's. Despite not winning a game so far the performances are improving and recently we almost beat the top of the table team. The team has little parental support and is still searching for an assistant manager. Managers were asked to remind their players not to clean their boots on the pavement outside the houses situated near the clubhouse.

A goal by Mike Gould was just reward for the 2nd team who were held to a 1-1 draw by Clarksfield St Edwards. (15/11/97) Junior Section activity included a 3-2 victory for the UNDER 10s who were 3-2 winners over Moorside Rangers. Stuart Bennett, Brad Loughrey and Alex Brogan were on target. (16/11/97)

Paul Batty, Stephen Robertshaw and Steven Canning fired in the goals for the UNDER 11s as they won 3-0 at Hindsford Juniors. A 5-2 win for the Under 13s came courtesy of goals from Matthew Thompson (2) Brian Tennant, Simon Lawrence and Tom McGarva (penalty) Opponents Marauders scored both their goals from the penalty spot. (16/11/97)

In the Lancashire and Cheshire League United's 2nd TEAM produced a polished display at home against Division 4 leaders Old Ashtonians. The visitors opened the scoring but Beechy created some wonderful football and got a deserved equalising goal from Sean Openshaw. (22/11/97)

Still seeking their first win of the season were the UNDER 12s. A goal by Anthony Collins goal put United ahead against Leigh RMI but at the final whistle of a Knock-Out cup tie Beechy had suffered a 3-1 defeat. (23/11/97)

Booking their place in the Manchester Youth League cup semi-final's were the UNDER 14s (A) team. A 3-2 victory against Hindsford Villa arrived thanks to goals from John Smith, Ryan Buckley and Colin Carter. (23/11/97)

Details of Newsletter's compiled by Mike Hill on 25/11/97 were as follows :- UNDER 12's. THE SEASON SO FAR. The team had played 13 games and had suffered 13 defeats. However Manager Stuart Law and his Assistant Steve Daniels were not too concerned because they had built the team from scratch and in some games there were only nine players available. Recent performances had improved and all that was asked from the players was total commitment. Wear the shirt with pride, keep working hard in training and things will get better. PRE-MATCH WARM UP. It is important that all players warm up in the correct manner before a game, this will help prevent injury. A pre-match warm up should start with a short gentle jog, followed by some stretching exercises. Players should then form groups of 3 or 4 and pass a ball to each other. One player should warm the keeper up by throwing high and low balls for him to catch. UNDER 14's. MANAGER'S VIEW. Since the last Newsletter we have played 4 games, winning 3 and losing 1. Our best display by far this season was against league leaders Woodbank, beating them 1-0 in the League Cup. The boys performance was superb matching Woodbank in every area of the pitch, this was a great achievement. The next game in the League Cup was another difficult fixture at home to Hindsford Villa. Once again the players produced a stunning display and Beechy fully deserved their 3-2 victory. This result takes us into the semi-finals, we are also in a good position in the league table. It is important that we continue to take training seriously. It can only improve our own individual and team discipline. (Ged Goodwin)

BEECHFIELD BOUNCE BACK IN GOAL RUSH.

The 1st TEAM were involved in a ten goal thriller with Hollingworth and after a miraculous turnaround, took all three points. Beechy trailed 3-1 at half time before they mounted a revival which clearly had the Hollingworth side in a spin. In the early stages of the match it looked as if it was not going to be United's day as their defence was uncommonly generous to the Hollingworth forwards. Pressure from the frontmen meant that they conceded two own goals as the opposition appeared to have the game sewn up. The muddy surface centred around the midfield area of the pitch did not help matters so most of United's attacks were worked down both flanks. The football was not stylish but goals are goals and they were arrived through honest endeavour and precise finishing. The first goal came from Adrian Brocklehurst but the opposition extended their lead further before the break. In the second half United's play was a revelation as they outclassed Hollingworth in all area's of the pitch. They passed and moved with a new purpose and slick interplay led to Brocklehurst getting his second goal of the game. The avalanche then swept Hollingworth away as Rob and Paul Worley, Nathan Brady and Ross Hilton (penalty) added further goals which guaranteed Beechy a 6-4 victory. (29/11/97)

Despite having to field an understrength team the UNDER 11s drew 1-1 away with Glossop Juniors. In this Manchester FA Youth Cup tie Beechy's performance was first-class against their opponents from the Reddish @ District Junior League. Ben Jenks scored United's only goal and team's met in a replay seven days later. The UNDER 12s celebrated their first win of the season when they beat Peel FC 3-1. Centre Half Anthony Collins scored two superb goals and recent new signing Karl Smith netted the other. Also needing a replay after their Manchester FA Youth Cup game at Belle Vue finished level at 3-3 were the UNDER 14s (B) team. Darren Schofield, Gary Ramage and Michael Smith got the goals. A hat-trick from Peter Jones plus a goal by Paul Wilson guaranteed the UNDER 15s their place in Round 3 of the Youth Cup. United were 4-0 winners against AFC Stanley. (7/12/97)

Maintaining a top four place in the Lancashire and Cheshire League C Division were the 2nd TEAM. In a 3-1 win at Aldermere some of United's football was of the highest quality plus there were superb individual performances from several players. Keeper Richard Gray contributed with three excellent saves, in defence both Richard Farnie and Phil Beeston were outstanding while Aaron Atkinson was a tireless worker in midfield and Lee Brady caused havoc with his tricky run's on the left wing. Aldermere somehow managed to keep the score to 0-0 at the interval but after the break United stepped up a gear and were rewarded for more wonderful attacking soccer. Team Captain Craig Small opened the scoring followed by a super strike from Shaun Openshaw and it quickly became 3-0 thanks to a goal on his debut by Matthew Hughes. United relaxed their grip on the game and Aldermere got their consolation goal about ten minutes from the end. (13/12/97)

Beechy UNDER 10s were 3-0 winners over De La Salle. Ross Drennan (hat-trick) was United goalscoring hero. In the FA's County Cup the Under 11s met Glossop North End in a 2nd Round replay. An own goal gave Glossop the lead but United produced a positive response and Daniel Tennant scored the equaliser. Glossop won the match 2-1 thanks to a winning goal scored in extra time. Also involved in a County Cup replay were the UNDER 14s who beat Belle Vue 3-1. The highlight of the tie was a hat-trick for Michael Smith. The UNDER 15s went down 3-2 to Irlam Juniors. United's goal's came via Peter Jones and Brian Cross. (14/12/97)

United's 3rd TEAM produced their best football far this season in a 2-1 away victory at Moston Brook. There were several candidates for the Man of the Match Award including keeper Steve Daniels, full back Andy Howells plus forwards Darren Minshull and Steve Foster. The goals came via Dave Leighton and Duncan Roden. (20/12/97)

Only one Beechfield United team played during the weekend of Saturday 10th January & Sunday 11th January 1998. Following a four week lay-off the UNDER 11s kicked-off the new year with a 3-1 away win over Peel FC. Beechy made a confident start to the match with Liam Morrison influential from midfield and the Peel defence was soon under pressure. Their keeper made several top-class saves but he couldn't prevent United from taking the lead when an excellent pass by Stuart Musgrave sent Gary Haslam clear to score a fine goal. United hardly found time to celebrate because straight from the restart Peel grabbed an equaliser following a mistake by defender Paul Tattersall. A scrappy period crept into the match so the whistle for half-time was perhaps a welcome relief for both teams. A refreshed Beechfield team played with more flair in the second half and regained the lead when a long throw-in caused a goalmouth scramble and as the ball ran loose in the area Sam Dale blasted it into the roof of the net. Peel looked jaded and any attacks they created were few and far between while United demonstrated a greater level of fitness and made the game safe with a third goal. A move involving Daniel Tennant and Sam Dale ended with Gary Haslam producing another accurate finish for 3-1. Minutes later substitute Steven Canning almost scored a fourth goal for Beechy but the crossbar rescued Peel Juniors who produced a late attacking surge but United's keeper Jack Eckersley looked untroubled when under pressure. Paul Batty, Mike Smith and Stephen Thompson all produced quality performances. (11/1/98)

On Sunday 18th January 1998 only one fixture in the Junior Section survived the recent spell of wet weather. The UNDER 13s were in action against Parkwyddn and goals by Matthew Thompson (2) Lee McCann and Lee Caldwell (penalty) secured United a 4-1 victory. Defenders Mark Barrett and Andy Farrow produced outstanding performances.

In a totally 0ne-sided contest the 2nd TEAM strolled to an emphatic 10-1 win over Oldham College. Producing an attacking display full of both power and pace United totally dominated possession and scored several brilliant goals. On target were Shaun Openshaw (6) Lee Brady (2) Mike Gould and Phil Beeston. The 3rd team beat Newton FC 5-2 thanks to goals from Steve Grimes (2) Duncan Roden, Paul Smith and Jimmy Pugh. (24/1/98)

Despite a decent performance the 1st TEAM suffered a 2-1 defeat in the Rhodes Cup. In a first round tie against Old Stretfordians Adrian Brocklehurst's goal put Beechy ahead but they wasted numerous chances to give themselves a more comfortable lead. In the second half Old Stretfordians scored a scrappy equaliser and snatched victory following some woeful United defending. (31/1/98)

In their game against Charlestown a superb comeback by the UNDER 12s earned them their second victory of the season. Beechy trailed 2-0 at one stage but Nathan Davies, Matthew Smith and Alex Law were all on target as United came from behind to win 3-2. Lee Caldwell gave the Under 13s the lead in their match with Moorside Rangers but United produced a poor performance and were eventually beaten 4-1. In the Manchester Youth League Knock-Out Cup the UNDER 14s (A) team hammered Bakewell Juniors 7-0 courtesy of some excellent attacking football and goals from John Smith (4) Colin Carter (2) and John Hudson. The Under 14s (B) didn't play as bad as the 10-4 scoreline might suggest. Goalscorers were Michael Smith (2) and Ian Gee (2) in the game against De La Salle. (8/2/98)

United's 2nd TEAM went goal crazy again in the away fixture at Old Chorltonians. Beechy who celebrated an 8-3 victory made it twenty four goals scored in their last four games and they made a sensational start. Shaun Openshaw found the back of the net twice with the opening two minutes and United's positive approach must have impressed Manager George Lockley. Old Chorltonians somehow reduced the arrears with a goal totally against the run of play but United quickly restored their two goal advantage via Michael Hughes. As they continued to produce more stylish attacking play Beechy ran riot in the second half and added further goals from Hughes who completed his hat-trick, Craig Small, Rob Urey and Aaron Atkinson who scored on his debut. Old Chorltonians who showed a very sporting attitude managed two more goals late in the game. (14/2/98)

The club's Annual 5-a-side Tournament was held at Pendlebury Recreation Centre on Saturday 21st February and Saturday 28th February 1998.

Darren Minshull scored a consolation goal for the 3rd TEAM who lost 2-1 at home against Old Stoconians. United players were informed after the match by the Lancashire and Cheshire League chairman that he would be nominating them for the league's sportsmanship award. (21/2/98)

Despite outplaying Barr Hill the UNDER 11s lost the match 2-1. Stuart Musgrave was United's Best Player and Gary Haslam scored the consolation goal. In a supplementary cup game goals from BJ Tennant (2) Lee Caldwell (2) Simon Lawrence, Lee McCann, Matthew Thompson and goalkeeper Marcus Hill guaranteed the UNDER 13s an emphatic 8-0 victory over Boothstown Juniors. Keith Donoghue's superb hat-trick was the main feature of the UNDER 14s (A) team's 4-1 win over Hindsford Juniors. In this M/C Youth League fixture Marc Hinde got Beechy's other goal. Peter Jones was on target for the UNDER 15s who drew 1-1 with Barr Hill. Voted Best Player was Brian Cross. (22/2/98)

Most pitches were deemed unplayable on Saturday 7th March 1998. Only the UNDER 11s and UNDER 13s played on 8/3/98 but unfortunately both team's lost their games. For the second time in seven days the UNDER 11s played Stretford Victoria who beat United 2-0. Away at Charlestown the Under 13s went down 3-2 despite a first-class display. Keeper Marcus Hill made some excellent saves United's goalscorers were Matthew Thompson and Lee McCann.

Facing a tough challenge on Saturday 28th February 1998 were the 1st TEAM who travelled to play Division 3 leaders Hooley Bridge Celtic. Following an evenly balanced first half it was 0-0 at the break. Against their tough tackling opponents United were forced to defend for most of the second period and keeper Ian Wilson made several outstanding saves. On a deteriorating pitch United gave the ball far too easily and Hooley Bridge took full advantage scoring three goals in quick succession during the latter stages. The 3rd TEAM were involved in a Whitbread Cup 2nd Round tie away against Old Standians (A) a team from two division's higher. Beechy battled throughout to earn a 2-2 draw courtesy of goals by Steve Grimes and Steve Foster. The replay took place two weeks later at Beech Farm Playing Fields but despite another superb all-round display United lost 2-1 after extra-time. Man of the Match was keeper Steve Daniels and the consolation goal came via Shaun Livesey who scored his first goal in two season's. (14/3/98)

Ross Drennan scored a consolation goal for the UNDER 10s who lost 4-1 at North Walkden. The UNDER 13s Supplementary Cup game with Boothstown Lads produced twelve goals but Beechy lost the tie 7-5 after extra time. Lee Caldwell (2) Brian Tennant, Simon Lawrence and Lee McCann were United's goalscorers. A couple of unforced defensive errors led to the UNDER 15s going down 2-1 to Boothstown Juniors. United's goal came courtesy of Paul Wilson while Chris Bell collected the Man of the Match Award. (15/3/98)

Back in action after a two week lay off were the 1st TEAM and the lack of match practice didn't help because United lost 2-1 away at Romiley FC. But United did make a confident start and opened the scoring when Pete McLoughlin set up Paul Worley for a simple close range finish. Romiley found a quick equaliser and the match was evenly balanced with both team's creating chances galore. United were robbed of at least a draw when the home side stole all three points with their winning goal in the 70th minute. (21/3/98)

The 2nd TEAM who earned themselves a 7-1 away victory over Parswood Celtic received generous praise by Manager George Lockley. United's goal's scored tally reached 72 thanks to Shaun Openshaw (hat-trick) Lee Brady, Colin Gray, Richard Farnie (penalty) and Richard Jackson who scored the goal of the game. (Not sure if a Manchester City scout was watching ) (28/3/98)

There were hat-trick's for Ross Carhill, Steve Walton, and Kerim Jones as the UNDER 10s cruised to a 14-0 win against Hindsford Juniors. Also on target were Scott Taylor, Brad Loughrey, Stuart Bennett, Daniel Fernhead plus an own goal. (29/3/98)

United's UNDER 14s (A) team moved smoothly into the Manchester Youth League knock-out cup semi-final's following a 7-0 quarter-final replay victory over Ashton Athletic. Goalscorers were John Smith (3) Paul Fielding (2) Marc Hinde and Ryan Williams. (29/3/98)

There was a jeckyll and hyde type performance from the 1st TEAM when they met St Margaret Mary's. On a very muddy pitch at Beech Farm Playing Fields United who's football in the first half was outstanding held a 4-1 lead at one stage. But the Beechy players couldn't have forseen the nightmare they endured in the second half because St Margaret Mary's took control and eventually won the contest 5-4. Craig Small, Aaron Atkinson, Dave Goodwin and Neil Lemmon got the goals. On the same day Steve Foster (3) Steve Grimes, Rob Hilton and Mike Gould were on target as the 3rd TEAM enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 win over Romiley FC. (4/4/98)

In the Junior Section goalscorers for the UNDER 10s who ended their season with a 5-1 win against Hindsford Juniors were Ross Drennan (2) Scott Taylor (2) and Brad Loughrey. The UNDER 12s met Charlestown in the Supplementary Cup and goals by Alex Law (2) Paul Smith, Matthew Pollitt and Anthony Collins (penalty) secured United a 5-3 victory. The UNDER 14s (B) Supplementary Cup game verses Irlam Juniors was abandoned early in the second half due to the atrocious conditions. At the time United were leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jamie Burke. Darren Youd (2) and Peter Jones (2) fired in the goals in the UNDER 15s 4-2 Supplementary Cup victory over Boothstown Juniors. (5/4/98)

Ending their season with two games in four days were the UNDER 14s (A) team. In the Manchester Youth League United beat Bakewell FC 5-2 courtesy of goals via Marc Hinde (2) Paul Fielding, John Smith and Darren Owen. Marc Hinde was also on target when he got the consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat at Woodbank Juniors. (3/5/98)

The 1998 Six-A-Side Tournament was held over three days (2nd/3rd/4th May) at Beech Farm Playing Fields. Age Groups were U8s,9's,10's,11's,12's,13's,14's,15's/16's. Entrance Fee is £15 per team. All players must be under the relevant age as at 1st August 1997. A maximum of 8 players per team will be allowed. Trophies were provided for both Winners and Runners Up in each Age Group.

At the Salford Junior Sunday League meeting held on 12/5/98 Beechfield United UNDER 14s were praised by several committee members regarding their sportsmanship and excellent disciplinary record. They fully deserved the league's Fair Play Award for 1997/1998.

End of the season Junior and Senior Presentation Evening's were held at a the Lancastrian Hall Swinton on Friday 22nd and Friday 29th June 1998. At the Junior event Michael Twiss a former Beechfield player and now a member of Manchester United's 1st team squad presented trophies to all age group's up to and including the Under 13s. The winners of the AJ KEARSLEY & SON SHIELD - Team of the Year were the Under 13's. Trophies at the Senior event were handed out to players from the Under 14s to the 3rd team by Terry Phelan (Everton and Republic of Ireland) Under 13's Player of the Year - Marcus Hill Runner Up - Colin McDonald.

Beechy Under 12's reached the final of the Manchester Sunday Challenge Cup but the players had to settle for runners-up medals following defeat against Flixton Juniors.


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