October 07 2017 21:07:36.
By Keith Long
- Superb Cup Win For Beechy Ladies 1/10/2017
Following a brilliant all-round team performance Beechfield United Ladies secured a 1-0 home win over Didsbury FC. In the Greater Manchester Womens League sixteen players were available for this cup game played on the 3G Astroturf Pitch at Salford Sports Village. The match kicked off in overcast conditions and both Gemma Ottiwell and Jennifer Mutch were involved in Beechy's first two attacks down the right flank. A couple of long throws by Shauna Smith put extra early pressure on the visitors defence. At the end of Didsbury's first direct forward move there was a vital clearance needed from Beechy's experienced defender Gemma Winterburn , As play switched swiftly from end to end both Jennifer Mutch and Rebecca McDonald made strong runs to get crosses into the area while Stacy Partridge used the ball intelligently from her midfield position. United won the games first corner in the 10th minute but Didsbury's versatile No8 was in the right place to divert the ball to safety.
Following a good piece of skill from Natasha Herity another cross from the left flank by Rebecca McDonald brought a decent save from the Didsbury keeper. But with the opening twenty minutes neither side had managed to get a direct shot on target. Following a free kick sent downfield by Gemma Winterburn there was a tight offside decision given against Stacy Partridge who looked to have timed her run to perfection. A neat angled pass between two opponents sent Gemma Ottiwell racing forward but the Didsbury keeper made a brave save. The visitors made use of the roll-on-roll-off rule with their first substitution just after the half hour mark. A few minutes later a great first time effort from Becky Topping was pushed onto the post by the keeper. Then when play moved to the other end of the pitch Beechy keeper Rachael Howarth raced to the edge of the area to foil the Didsbury player wearing the No29 shirt.
Most of Didsbury's attacks developed down the left flank with their speedy No26 always a threat and at the end of another counter-attack Rachael Howarth made a brilliant one-handed save palming the ball onto the crossbar then bravely gathering the rebound. The visitors No7 blasted the ball wide following a corner then Rachael Howarth made another acrobatic save during a good period of attacking play from Didsbury. HT 0-0. There was a great piece of defending by full back Julie Ward who had to concede a corner just two minutes after the restart. Early in the second half Didsbury's counter-attacking play was slightly better than Beechy's but at the end of one breakaway move Natasha Herity displayed good skill with the ball only to see her cross into the area deflected for a corner. After a brief spell of scrappy play Rachael Howarth was in action again making two comfortable saves. Joanna Szafranska replaced Rebecca McDonald in the 65th minute and overall Beechy now looked better organised than their opponents.
Twice in quick succession the Didsbury No7 saw long range efforts miss the target prior to United getting their match winning goal. Natasha Herity supplied the vital forward pass to Becky Topping who neatly controlled the ball inside the area and fired it low past the keeper on seventy minutes. Briefly Beechy kept the pressure on the visitors but Didsbury gradually pushed more players forward as they fought hard for an equalising goal. Krystal Hayward made a couple of important clearances under pressure as United had to defend against well delivered free kicks. Sue Howard and Elina Parker took over from Jennifer Mutch and Julie Ward and both substitutes were quickly involved in this absorbing contest. When the Didsbury No8 raced clear with the ball she looked certain to score but a superb block on the goal line by Elina Parker proved to be a key moment in the game. More important defending was needed from Beechy in the closing stages but United ended the match producing an attacking surge with substitutes Hazel Tucker and Faye Cassidy making vital contributions to a dynamic team display.
Team Squad was as follows: Rachael Howarth, Gemma Winterburn, Stacy Partridge, Hazel Tucker, Rebecca McDonald, Sue Howard, Jennifer Mutch, Gemma Ottiwell, Julie Ward, Faye Cassidy, Natasha Herity, Joanna Szafranska, Krystal Hayward, Shauna Smith, Becky Topping, Elina Parker.