POSTED: December 24 2021 20:22:27. By Keith Long - Brilliant Display Earns Beechy Ladies 3-2 Victory

In the Greater Manchester Womens League Beechy Ladies produced a brilliant all-round performance in their final game of 2021 and were rewarded with a 3-2 away win. (19/12/2021)

Before kick-off Beechy's opponents Droylsden Ladies occupied second place in the Division 1 table and on first view of the hosts pitch the poor playing surface would obviously restrict the teams abilty to create an entertaining ninety minutes. Beechy defenders Alice Mosley, Bethany Hill, Shauna Smith and Monique Pollard were soon in action dealing with Droylsden's early choice of the long ball option. An early corner to the hosts resulted in the ball skimming the crossbar just before Beechy took the lead in the 5th minute. An accurate crossfield pass from Bethany Hill found Amie Barratt who casulally propelled the ball over the head of a Droylsden defender and Aimee Greenwood raced clear before adding an excellent finish for the opening goal. Alice Mosley showed her ability as a defender when the Droylsden No11 made a couple of surging runs from the halfway line.

A cleverly disguised pass from Becky Topping sent Amie Barratt on a solo run down the right wing and she forced a Droylsden defender to concede a free kick. Beechy were well organised all over the pitch as they displayed great movement off the ball and another goal always looked on the cards. An inswinging corner by Stacy Partridge caused real hesitation for the hosts defenders and Amiee Greenwood just failed to divert the ball into the net at the back post. On the quarter-hour mark Droylsden equalised with a lucky goal when an effort by the hosts No9 deflected off an unluckly Beechy player past goalkeeper Hannah Walker who almost prevented the ball from finding the corner of the net. At the end of another swift counter-attack created down the right flank the Droylsden keeper made a fine reaction save following a shot on target from Sophie Addison.

There was more solid defending from Alice, Bethany, Shauna and Monique plus a superb save by Hannah which foiled the hosts attempts to add a second goal. Both Becky Gregory and Monique Pollard repeatedly produced great ball winning tackles and the latter combined with Amie Barratt in a neat move as Beechy looked a real threat going forward. After twenty six minutes Beechy regained the lead when Stacy Partridge took advantage of an error by a Droylsden defender and fired the ball over the hosts keeper from outside the area. The awkward bounce of the ball on the uneven and heavy pitch continually caused the players problems but the match did maintain a fairly frantic pace. Droylsden's centre forward ran onto an accurate through ball and saw her curling effort hit the crossbar then the same player was judged to be offside after firing the ball into the net.

As the pace of the game went up a level Amie Barratt who had her best game so far this season and Becky Gregory were dominant figures in Beechy's midfield. Hannah Walker rescued Beechy with another well judged save after bravely gathering the ball when under pressure from the Droylsden No7. Two great moves involving Becky Topping almost brought Beechy another goal when Amie Barratt's effort hit the post then Stacy Partridge curled the ball just wide of the target. (HT 2-1) Just two minutes into the second half Beechy went 3-1 up after the hosts keeper misjudged a shot on target from Amiee Greenwood and Amie Barratt netted the rebound from close range. Once again the poor pitch ruined more great play from Beechy who kept up a constant flow of counter-attacks but slowly the hosts began to enjoy more of the ball.

Alice Mosley, Bethany Hill, Shauna Smith and Monique Pollard were forced to defend much deeper and Hannah Walker became the busiest of the two goalkeepers. During another period of Droylsden forward play the hosts No7 threatened twice in succession to getting her team back level and a couple of minutes later her teammate the No10 blasted the ball wide from twenty five yards. On the hour mark Emily Walmsley replaced Alice Mosley who had produced an impressive performance in her outfield role. Becky Topping and Sophie Addison linked-up superbly to set-up a chance for Amie Greenwood who's first time volley went over the crossbar. The combined efforts of Emily and Sophie dealt with another threatening attack from the hosts on the left flank then Shauna Smith and Bethany Hill made well timed headed clearances.

The hosts won three successive corners and on one occasion a Droylsden forward nearly forced the ball into the net from just inside the area. Jessica Jones replaced Aimee Greenwood and immediately taking up a position up-front worked hard to make life difficult for Droylsden's defenders. A terrific move involving Amie Barratt, Becky Topping and Emily Walmsley deserved a better finish just before Droylsden scored their second goal when the ball somehow crept into the net following a corner. Beechy's offside tactic served them well in the last ten minutes as the hosts searched desperately for a last-gasp equaliser. Hannah Walker made a vital save and Jessica Jones went close to adding a fourth goal for Beechy just before the final whistle. The whole team shared the Player of the Match award.

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