September 21 2017 21:06:55.
By Keith Long
- In-Form Beechy Ladies Secure 4-1 Victory
On Sunday 17th September 2017 Beechfield United Ladies travelled to play Bury Ladies for their third Greater Manchester Womens League Division One fixture of the 2017/2018 season and following a brilliant all-round display they secured the three points thanks to a well deserved 4-1 victory. United kicked-off the match and there was an early touch of the ball for both Rebecca McDonald and Julie Ward. At the end of Bury Ladies first real attack their No7 who had produced a strong solo run fired the ball straight at Beechy keeper Rachel Howarth who made a comfortable save. Most of the home teams promising moves featuring their No6 developed down the left flank and twice in quick succession Gemma Winterburn was in the right place to head the ball out of the danger zone. Sue Howard and Lauren Sharp combined superbly in a quick passing move that set-up a chance for Nicola Rushton who's effort went wide of the target. Bury Ladies continued to rely heavily on the counter-attack and on the quarter-hour mark their No15 hammered the ball into the side netting. More safe handling from Rachel Howarth after Bury Ladies forced three successive corners then following United's first corner in the game Sophie Wainwright blasted the ball over the crossbar.
Nicola Rushton punished an unforced error by the Bury keeper when she gave Beechy the lead in the 29th minute. Another well delivered corner kick by Becky Topping caused panic for Bury's defenders but the ball was eventually booted up field. Gradually Beechy looked a greater threat going forward and making better use of the ball carved out some decent chances. Shauna Smith, Krystal Hayward and Gemma Winterburn easily dealt with any swift attacks from the home side and on forty two minutes United added their second goal. A move through the midfield ended with Nicola Rushton giving the keeper no chance via a powerful low drive then a minute later it was 3-0 when Nicola completed her hat-trick courtesy of a spectacular finish. Beechy were slow in adapting to the pace of the game in the second half and Sue Howard produced a great piece of defending when under pressure. A couple of minutes later Bury Ladies No7 beat the offside trap but fired the ball high over the crossbar then Rachel Howarth dealt confidently with a curling free kick from outside the area. Play moved quickly to the other end and it was the Bury keepers turn to be involved and she made a smart save with both hands.
After fifty four minutes Beechy made their first substitution when Hazel Tucker who was making her debut took over from Lauren Sharp then five minutes later Joanna Szafranska replaced Rebecca McDonald. The fast action was end to end and a fine effort from Stacy Partridge deserved a better finish. Bury Ladies long ball tactics in the second half caused a few problems for Beechy and taking advantage of some slack defending the home team reduced the arrears after sixty five minutes. Briefly there was more unwanted pressure on United and the Bury Ladies No9 wasted a good chance when the hosts enjoyed more of the ball. But Beechy always had the ability to step up a gear and some great accurate passing moves between Hazel Tucker and Becky Topping down the right flank were a joy to watch. A move started by Shauna Smith in the 71st minute eventually produced United's fourth goal when Player of the Match Sophie Wainwright controlled a superb angle pass from Becky Topping and after racing clear neatly slotted the ball past the keeper. Displaying much better movement off the ball the Beechy Ladies played with more freedom in the last fifteen minutes. Rachel Howarth who had a fairly relaxed second half was in action late in the game as Bury Ladies created a brief attacking spell and their No 10 wasted a good scoring opportunity from the edge of the area. But Beechy showing a high fitness level always looked hungry for more goals and Becky Topping was at the heart of several high powered attacks.
Team Squad was as follows:- Rachel Howarth, Gemma Winterburn, Stacy Partridge, Hazel Tucker, Sophie Wainwright, Rebecca McDonald, Sue Howard, Julie Ward, Nicola Rushton, Krystal Hayward, Joanna Szafranska, Shauna Smith, Becky Topping, Lauren Sharp.
On Sunday 24th September Beechy turn their attention to the Manchester FA Women's County Cup. In Round One of the competition United are away to Manchester Rovers Ladies.