POSTED: December 14 2017 23:55:25. By Keith Long - Win For Beechy Ladies After Top Of The Table Clash

Beechfield United Ladies who occupied second place in the table were looking to close the gap on Division 1 leaders Didsbury FC when they travelled to their opponents ground on Sunday 3rd December 2017. This Greater Manchester Women's League fixture kicked-off thirty minutes late due to the condition of Didsbury's grass pitches as both teams and the referee disagreed which pitch to play on but finally it was agreed and the game got under way. Despite the chosen pitch being very muddy and heavy underfoot both sets of players tried their best to play good football and some of the slide tackles were unbelievable. Beechy adapted better to the conditions and produced some great attacking play down both flanks with Debbie Wright and Natasha Herity heavily involved. Stacy Partridge, Kim Holt, Becky Topping, and Sophie Wainwright made it difficult for Didsbury to make real progress through the midfield.

When the hosts did threaten to put Beechy under real pressure they failed to unsettle United's well organised back four of Krystal Hayward, Elina Parker, Julie Ward and Jennifer Mutch that left keeper Rachel Howarth being hardly involved in the action. Beechy took the lead when the ball was worked down the middle of the pitch and following a clear run Becky Topping gave the keeper no chance of making a save via a powerful strike. Natasha Herity made it 2-0 when she fought her way down the right wing evading several lunging tackles and hammering the ball over the keepers head and into the far corner of the net. As the second half developed Beechy were slow in finding their rhythm and Didsbury took advantage putting United under some real pressure.

But briefly Beechy survived and responded winning more of the ball and working hard made numerous attempts to score a third goal. The heavy pitch started to take its toll on both teams as the ball constantly got stuck in the mud and the players were losing their footing. With ten minutes remaining Didsbury managed to reduce the arrears following a goal mouth scramble after five attempts by Beechy defenders failed to clear the ball. Didsbury kept attacking as they tried to find an equaliser but a few decent attempts were thwarted by some good goalkeeping from Rachel Howarth. This was a great 2-1 win for Beechy under difficult pitch conditions and the gap was now three points between the teams who meet again on Sunday 17th December at Salford Sports Village.

Beechy Squad: Rachel Howarth, Krystal Hayward, Julie Ward, Elina Parker, Jennifer Mutch, Sophie Wainwright, Stacy Partridge, Kim Holt, Debbie Wright, Natasha Herity, Becky Topping, Hannah Susnjara, Hazel Tucker, Lauren Sharp. Player of the Match was Natasha Herity.

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