POSTED: December 17 2021 20:46:15. By Keith Long - Friendly Match Defeat For Beechy Ladies

After their scheduled Greater Manchester Womens League fixture was postponed Beechy Ladies arranged a Friendly Match on Sunday 12th December 2021 with AFC Bolton Womens team.

Beechy who lost the match 2-0 had seventeen players available and they made a steady start to the game on their opponents Astroturf Pitch. In the opening few minutes an accurate pass from Jessica Jones sent Amie Barratt on a solo run but a Bolton defender won the ball with a strong tackle. The hosts quickly found a good attacking rhythm and twice in succession Bethany Hill and Sian Anderson produced well timed headed clearances and Monique Pollard made a vital interception when Bolton's No11 looked to have timed her run into the area. Early in the match Beechy made their first substitution when Ashleigh Morris who suffered a recurring leg injury was replaced by Aimee Armsden. Bolton Ladies took the lead in the 6th minute via their No10 who supplied a decisive finish following a fast counter-attack through midfield.

Beechy's back four Kirsten Elrick, Sian Anderson, Bethany Hill and Monique Pollard plus stand-in keeper Shauna Smith suddenly had to deal with some added pressure. Sophie Addison chased a pinpoint pass from Kirsten Elrick and won Beechy their first corner and following the flag kick a header by Bethany Hill was just off target. A piece of great defending by Jessica Jones ended a promising counter-attack as a highly confident AFC Bolton team went close again to increasing their lead. An effort from Stacy Partridge hit the side netting then a fine move between Amie Barratt and Becky Topping almost set-up a chance for Sophie Addison. Beechy enjoyed a decent share of the ball but at the end of several promising moves lacked the vital finish to test the ability of the Bolton Ladies goalkeeper.

Monique Pollard and Aimee Armsden were replaced by Alice Mosley and Aimee Greenwood who sent Amie Barratt on another solo run but an effort to score by the Beechy midfielder was blocked on the edge of the penalty area. Making another substitution Beechy's next change resulted in Rosie Moorcroft taking over from Jessica Jones and United made a couple of positional adjustments on the pitch. More well controlled play from AFC Bolton kept Beechy's back four on red alert and both Bethany Hill and Monique Pollard had to produce a few vital clearances when under pressure. Sophie Addison forced another corner and when the ball bounced inside the area Rosie Moorcroft was just off target with a close range effort. A slick move between Kirsten Elrick, Stacy Partridge, Amie Barratt and Becky Topping brought a fine reflex save from the hosts goalkeeper.

In a match played in totally the right spirit both teams continued to make substitutions and Hannah Walker got her turn to shine when she replaced Rosie Moorcroft. A brilliant save by Shauna Smith denied the hosts No9 who had raced onto a long raking pass hit deep into Beechy's half. Monique Pollard and Megan Mirfield replaced Stacy Partridge and Kirsten Elrick at the start of the second half and Hannah Walker took on the role of goalkeeper with Shauna Smith moving into her normal defensive position. A move involving Monique Pollard, Becky Topping and Amie Barratt set-up Sophie Addison who's shot on target forced the hosts keeper to produce a fine reflex save. Then at the other end of the pitch Hannah Walker dealt confidently with a long range effort from the hosts most influential player their No10.

Now operating as Beechy's defensive quartet Alice Mosley, Shauna Smith, Monique Pollard and Megan Mirfield all contributed to keeping the hosts at bay. A corner taken by Sophie Addison led to the ball dropping into the path of Stacy Partridge and only brave defending by the AFC Bolton No5 deflected the ball for another corner to Beechy. Another piece of good defending this time by the Bolton Ladies No6 ended a promising move between Stacy Partridge and Beechy's Player of the Match Monique Pollard. The hosts went 2-0 up in the 73rd minute when one of their substitutes found enough space just inside the area to add the finish to a counter-attack down the left wing. Beechy kept searching for a clear breakthrough in the hope of finding a way back into the contest and United forced a couple of corners and several free kicks inside the last ten minutes.

Hannah Walker who had a fairly quiet second half was in action again when she made a superb double save in the closing stages of the game. A late flurry of attacks from Beechy failed to find a consolation goal though Sophie Addison went close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Squad for the game was: Becky Topping, Stacy Partridge, Sophie Addison, Bethany Hill, Monique Pollard, Ashleigh Morris, Shauna Smith, Amie Barratt, Aimee Greenwood, Sian Anderson, Jessica Jones, Alice Mosley, Hannah Walker, Megan Mirfield, Aimee Armsden, Rosie Moorcroft, Kirsten Elrick.

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