POSTED: February 23 2023 17:17:10. By Keith Long
- Five Goal Evan Creates The Headlines
Man of the Match Evan Hodson-Griffiths created the headlines scoring all five goals when Beechfield United Under 17's STORM drew 5-5 with Radcliffe Juniors Atheltic taking his personal total for the season to twenty seven.
*In the Bolton Bury and District League Storm who had twelve players available for this Section B home game made a slightly nervous start in difficult conditions. A strong gusty wind threatened to spoil the game but both teams managed to produce an entertaining ninety minutes. There was some great defending by Billy Jones, Josh Everall and Harrison Davies before Beechy took the lead in the 8th minute. Aaron Cardall won Storm a direct free kick and from thirty yards Evan Hodson-Griffiths produced a spectacular finish when he hammered the ball beyond the keeper.
At the end of a quick counter-attack an attempted overhead kick by the Radcliffe No17 resulted in the ball dropping over the crossbar. Storm went 2-0 up after eleven minutes when a poor clearance from a visitors defender gifted Even Hodson-Griffiths an easy close range finish. A few more breakaway moves from Radcliffe Juniors gave Beechy cause for concern and Max Hinchy, Alfie Jones and Billy Jones made vital ball winning tackles. Aaron Cardall worked hard on the left wing while Bradley Oliver made several darting runs down the other flank as Storm went close to increasing their lead.
Following a well judged save by Lewis Wallis Beechy's defenders failed to clear the ball out of the danger zone and Radliffe's No19 fired it into the net from the edge of the area and reduce the arrears. Both teams displayed a good energy level in all areas of the pitch and the referee maintained a tight grip on this absorbing contest. A slick move between Evan and Aaron won Storm another corner just before the visitors via a move through the midfield made it 2-2 in the 37th minute. During a period when Beechy had to deal with some heavy pressure both Oliver Lawton and Ben Delaney displayed their abilty to win the ball with well timed interceptions.
A few minutes before half time Storm regained the lead after Evan Hodson-Griffiths raced onto an accurate long pass from Bradley Oliver and casually fired the ball past the keeper to complete his hat-trick. Beechy were punished for a slow start in the second half when Radcliffe Juniors were gifted their third goal and though Lewis Wallis made an acrobatic save the ball was eventually forced into the net. Christian Idusuyi replaced Alfie Jones and he was soon on defensive duty as the visitors who now had the wind in their favour slowly adopted the long ball tactic and Storm needed to raise their game in all areas.
With no pressure on the ball from Beechy the Radcliffe No3 had enough time to put his team 4-3 up via a superb strike from thirty yards and before Storm could reorganise they found themselves trailing 5-3 after another long distance wind assisted effort. The fast action zoomed swiftly from end to end and Beechy were back in the game with their fourth goal when Ben Delaney supplied an inch perfect through ball and Evan Hodson-Griffiths added another in-form strikers finish. Top class defending by Josh Everall and Harrison Davies denied Radcliffe Juniors a sixth goal just before Storm were back level at 5-5.
A counter-attack developed and an excellent defence splitting pass from Bradley Oliver was controlled by Evan Hodson-Griffths who with his next touch casually slotted the ball into the far corner of the net. Several accurate long throws by the visitors No7 caused Beechy real problems and on one occasion Lewis Wallis produced a vital save during a goalmouth scramble. The fast and furious pace of the game never waned and during a tense final few minutes Storm's defence had to soak up more pressure. Storm almost won the game but a first time effort by Evan Hodson-Griffiths hit the post.