POSTED: April 22 2023 21:27:27 By Keith Long - Junior Section Match Details 22/4/2023

On Saturday 22nd April 2023 there was a full programme of fixtures which produced several excellent winning results. Creating the headlines were Beechy U/12's STORM who booked their place in the Challenge Cup Final.

*Beechfield United U/12's STORM won their Challenge Cup semi-final against a strong and physical Salford United Devils. Roman Sandaji (hat-trick) Mikael Omotayo and Amir Ahmadipor were on target for Beechy who won the tie 5-1. Storm have been playing well in the last few weeks and carrying the form into the game were always the more dominant team. The game became confrontational at times and the referee's handling of things could have been better but Beechy's management team insisted the players remained focused on the game and the job in hand. There were strong performances throughout and in particular from Nathan Kay in defence who was voted Man of the Match. Storm go into the final at the end of May against Monton Wolves.

*The U/7's THUNDER were involved in a tough home game with Ordsall Junior Cubs. The Beechy Boys had to deal with the physical approach from their opponents and the referee did a superb job managing the game. There was only one winner from start to finish and the Ordsall goalkeeper who produced a fine display denied Thunder several times with some great saves. But midway through the first half Jude Bond gave Beechy the lead and Thunder kept their one goal advantage at the break. Beechy continued to put pressure on the visitors in the second half and were rewarded with their second goal scored by Chase Sixsmith. Thunder maintained control of the game and apart from the victory got the added bonus of a clean sheet. Sharing the Man of the Match Award were Chase Sixsmith and Antonio Embalo.

*Feeling the after effects of a hangover regarding last weekend's cup semi-final success the U/8's THUNDER produced a low-key display in the away game at Parkwydden Hawks. The hosts outplayed Beechy and if hadn't been for some very good defending from Isaac Fleet-Alden and good goalkeeping by Hugo Balogun Thunder could have been several goals down early in the game. Despite being one goal behind at half time Beechy's fortunes didn't change in the second half as Parkwyddn added two more goals. Sonny Phillips scored a consolation goal for Thunder via a great low strike into the net before Parkwyddn added a fourth goal. Beechy's goalkeeper in the second half Cody Elwell-Eyres made several fine saves but Thunder just didn't find their recent good form in this game.

After a couple of blank weekends ans some below-par performances the U/9's STORM were back to their best in their home game with Longford Park. The pitches at Beech Farm Playing Fields were spot-on which made for a great game of football and after a slightly shaky start Storm dominated the contest. Beechy looked defensively solid plus great goalkeeping from Joshua Lowery resulted in a goalless scoreline during the early stages. Storm gradually found their attacking rhythm and after Man of the Match Barkley Pope won possession he beat two Longford players and delivered a perfect cross for Scott Ellis-Smith to open the scoring. Storm's second goal arrived when great work from Harvey King won a free kick and stepping up to take the kick was Max Schofield who hammered the ball into the net off the crossbar. Making a quick start in the second half Beechy increased their lead when Jack Sinclair forced a save from the Longford keeper and from the rebound Kobe Glass scored via a composed left footed finish. An almost identical situation developed and once again Kobe Glass reacted superbly when he slotted home Storm's fourth goal. As they continued to control the game Beechy were rewarded with goal number five via Jack Sinclair who completed the scoring after great work on the wing by Barkley Pope.

*In their home game against Winton Spiders the U/9's TORNADOES produced a poor first half display and were a goal down early in the early stages. Looking a different team in the second half Beechy played with a lot more confidence and following a great attacking move an effort by Crewe Reeves struck the crossbar. Shortly after Harry Myddelton broke down the right wing and his cross was met by Reuben McCormick who's powerful strike bounced off the crossbar. As the Tornadoes continued to push hard for an equaliser some great defending and a superb save by Jayden Royle dealt with several Winton counter-attacks. Following a corner late in the game Winton were awarded a penalty and from the spot-kick the visitors got their second goal. Tornadoes Man of the Match was Aiden Thompson for a terrific display and real show of character.

*Beechy U/10's HURRICANES were away to De La Salle for the first time and both teams soon created chances plus there were some great saves from both goalkeepers. With the game evenly balanced Beechy made some substitutions midway in the first half and soon after Myles Harris had a smile on his face when he opened the scoring from a corner by Finn Lee. Both teams continued to battle hard and during a De La Salle counter-attack Raheem Raji ran half the length of the pitch to make a great tackle. When the second half got underway the Hurricanes stepped up a couple of gears and forced their opponents to produce some brave defending. Myles Harris was on target again when he netted Beechy's second goal from a free kick he had won himself then as the Hurricanes created more chances the De La Salle goalkeeper was in constant action. Beechy's persistence finally brought rewards when Kenny Copeland took a corner and the ball came off Evan Sheldon's head and bounced around in the area before dropping into the net via a De La Salle own goal. The visitors were pinned in their own half as the Hurricanes maintained a high work ethic and Kenny Copeland added Beechy's fourth goal via a lovely strike into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area.

*Moving up into the Blue Group in the Salford and Districts League the U/11's THUNDER met Salford United Devils away and making a positive start Beechy played in their opponents half as the game became more competitive in all areas. Slightly the better team Thunder took the lead when Ajab Fakeeh on a solo run rounded the keeper and though a Salford defender recovered to make a tackle the ball fell into the path of Roman Jackson who supplied a fine finish. Salford United responded and the hosts found an equalising goal before taking a 2-1 but a hard working Beechy equalised with the last kick of the first half when Ajab Fakeeh scored following a bit of a scramble. As the second half a tightly fought contest developed and after a free kick Salford United regained the lead. Thunder bounced back and after losing his footing Ajab Fakeeh got back up off the pitch and equalised when he curled the ball into the top corner of the net for his 30th goal of the season a marvellous achievement for Ajab who plays in midfield for the team. Unfortunately during the last quarter-hour of the game the Beechy Boys tired after a tremendous battle and conceded four goals without reply.

*Playing away at Wythenshawe Celtic the U/13's TORNADOES were in action in Division 1 and were rewarded with a 4-2 victory. In the Salford and Districts League Beechy were without four key players who were all injured including the two full backs and their goalkeeper. This Tornadoes top-class performance included a hat-trick for Josh Beddows (his first of the season) and a goal by Dylan Cervenak who opened the scoring. The Tornadoes gained revenge following this victory because three weeks earlier Wythenshawe Celtic won a Supplementary Cup tie between the teams with a last minute goal.

*Without an official Bolton and Bury and District League fixture Beechy U/16's TYPHOON played a friendly match against an excellent Atherton Town outfit. Beechy's opponents play in two Divisions higher in the league but Typhoon put up a good battle and it was an ideal opportinity to try some different team formations. Beechy lost the game that included excellent performanes from Liam Peers in defence and Sonny O'Brien in midfield but Man of the Match was Will Bentham who adapted superbly to a new wing back position. A special mention for Joseph Bothamley who once again produced a dynamic display.

*There was an early kick-off in the Bolton Bury and District League for the U/17's STORM who travelled to play Radcliffe Juniors Athletic. Against their tough opponents Beechy got off to a bright start and in the first minute an effort by Billy Jones hit the post. Storm were on top as they created chances following some slick passing but somehow Beechy found themselves going a goal behind. At the end of a good move by the hosts the ball crossed into the area was missed by Beechy's defenders and tapped into the net. Radcliffe Juniors doubled their lead via a scrappy goal before Storm reduced the arrears via Oliver Lawton who scored with a great strike from outside the area. The hosts restored their two goal advantage when a low shot somehow crept under Beechy keeper Lewis Wallis. In the second half Radcliffe dominated this Section B encounter and scored two more goals and though Beechy fought back and were rewarded with their second goal through Bradley Oliver they had to admit they were beaten by the better team.

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