March 15 2018 16:50:37.
By Keith Long
- Ladies Team Match Details 25th Feb/11th Mar 18
Chasing honours in the Greater Manchester Womens Football League Beechfield United Ladies maintained their Division 1 title challenge with an emphatic win on Sunday 25th February 2018. Beechy were away to bottom of the table team Bury Ladies and thanks to a runaway victory secured three vital points. Weather conditions were very cold but fairly sunny and the home teams pitch at Goshen Playing Fields was in excellent condition. Just twelve players were available for this fixture and making her Beechy debut was Nicole Leonard. Bury Ladies produced a gutsy performance and had a few chances of a goal early in the game but overall Beechy dominated possession and held an unassailable lead at the break. The Bury Ladies goalkeeper continued to be the busiest player on the pitch throughout the second half and despite making numerous saves couldn't prevent Beechy from hitting double figures. Goal scorers for United were Becky Topping, Kim Holt, Elina Parker, Joanna Szafranska, Gemma Winterburn, Stacy Partridge and Player of the Match Natasha Herity. Beechy Squad for the Game: Rachel Howarth, Stacy Partridge, Kim Holt, Gemma Winterburn, Natasha Herity, Sophie Wainwright, Becky Topping, Sue Howard, Krystal Hayward, Joanna Szfranska, Elina Parker, Nicole Leonard.
Beechy's were away again for their next match when they travelled to play Bolton Lads and Girls Club but this game was abandoned just before the hour mark following an injury to a Bolton player. When the teams met earlier in the season at Salford Sports Village the referee on that occasion was forced to abandon that Division 1 game when a Bolton player was seriously injured early in the first half. On Sunday afternoon Hacken Lane was the venue for this latest match between the teams and on the hosts 3G Astroturf pitch Beechy were on the attack straight from the kick off. Krystal Haywood, Jennifer Mutch and Sue Howard were involved in a promising move down the right flank that won Beechy an early throw-in. United won the games first corner in the 8th minute and defender Elina Parker volleyed the ball over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
A few over hit long balls by Bolton Girls were easily dealt with by Beechy keeper Rachel Howarth who had a fairly comfortable first forty five minutes. Bolton Girls changed their keeper who was soon involved and though Beechy saw more of the ball at times the final pass let them down. There was some solid defending from United's back four of Krystal Haywood, Gemma Winterburn, Elina Parker and Julie Ward during a period of pressure from the hosts who were awarded their first corner in the 23rd minute. Substitute Natasha Herity got on the end of a cross from Sophie Wainwright who had exchanged quick passes with Jennifer Mutch and hammered the ball into the side netting. Bolton Girls No8 beat the offside trap and seemed certain to score but Rachel Howarth made a smart reflex save. Sixty seconds later Beechy were back on the attack and great play between Sue Howard and Natasha Herity created a decent chance for Sophie Wainwright who fired the ball just wide.
Another quick counter-attack featuring Kim Holt and Jennifer Mutch on thirty eight minutes set-up Becky Topping who aggravated a shoulder injury as she tried to force the ball past the keeper. The Bolton Girls versatile keeper continued to deny Beechy that all important first goal when close to half time she made a great save following an effort by Debbie Wright. Both teams quickly found a good rhythm in the second half and the hosts forced an early corner that resulted in the Bolton Girls No17 firing the ball high over the crossbar. Despite wasting possession far too easily Beechy got what eventually proved to be the only goal of an eventful match via Debbie Wright in the 55th minute. After Bolton Girls had gone close to an equaliser the referee was given no option but to abandon the game.