POSTED: March 18 2022 19:12:36. By Keith Long - Ladies Team Win Tense Penalty Kick Decider


On Sunday 13th February 2022 in the Greater Manchester Womens League Beechy Ladies were involved in the League One Cup and booked their place in the Semi-Finals of the competition.

In the Quarter-Finals Beechy were at home to Droylsden Ladies and won the tie following a penalty-kick decider after the teams shared a 3-3 scoreline at the end of ninety minutes. Beechy made a dream start when they took the lead in the 3rd minute after Kirsten Elrick made a well timed ball winning tackle and Becky Gregory kept the move going setting up Amie Barratt who added a brilliant finish for the opening goal. The visitors No6 made a couple of menacing runs through the midfield area but both Alice Mosley and Shauna Smith were alert and defended superbly. A free kick taken by Kirsten Elrick curled into the area and after making a well timed run to meet the ball a header from Stacy Partridge was just off target.

Droylsden forced their first corner after nine minutes and Beechy's keeper in the first half Bethany Hill displayed a safe pair of hands following the flag kick. A large part of the game in the early stages was situated within the midfield prior to Droylsden's No8 on target with the visitors equaliser for 1-1 following a free kick. Stacy Partridge's swerving free kick was saved by the visitors keeper then a couple of minutes later after a surging solo run Monique Pollard was inches away from putting Beechy back in front. Beechy's defensive quartet Kirsten Elrick, Megan Mirfield, Shauna Smith and Alice Mosley remained well organised as Droylsden at times adopted the long ball tactic.

A brilliant defence splitting pass by Aimee Greenwood set-up a great chance for Sophie Addison who's effort on target was well saved by the young Droylsden goalkeeper. Shots from Stacy Partridge, Amie Barratt, Becky Gregory and Sophie Addison all went close to hitting the back of the net before Droylsden edged 2-1 up after twenty five minutes. The visitors continued to force most of their attacks down both flanks but Beechy full backs Kirsten Elrick and Alice Mosley defended superbly. An excellent quick passing move involving Amie Barratt and Becky Gregory almost created a chance for Sophie Addison then when play switched into Beechy's half Shauna Smith produced a vital headed clearance.

An inch pefect lofted pass by Stacy Partridge sent Monique Pollard on another surging run down the left wing and once again Monique's powerful left foot strike just missed the target. Droylsden knocked the ball around with an air of confidence and continued to create chances but Beechy responed to the challenge and seconds before half time Stacy Partridge made it 2-2 when she volleyed the ball over the keeper from outside the area. Aimee Armsden replaced Megan Mirfield at the start of the second half and Beechy changed their goalkeeper when Shauna Smith took over from Bethany Hill who quickly moved into her customary position in the back four.

The visitors regained the lead in the 49th minute following an attack down the left wing and Droylsden's No10 who had broken the offside trap added a cool finish for 3-2. Good defending from Beechy's Player of the Match Kirsten Elrick blocked a close range effort by the visitors No7 then Kirsten combined with Becky Gregory to lauch a move on the right flank. Rosie Moorcroft replaced Stacy Partridge after sixty five minutes as Beechy gradually began to enjoy a greater share of the ball and two efforts from Becky Gregory then an attempt to score by Sophie Addison were denied by brave Droylsden defending. Sheer determination by Rosie Moorcroft to win the ball earned Beechy a corner and following Kirsten Elrick's flag kick Bethany Hill got the final touch during a goalmouth scramble to send the ball into the net for Beechy's third and equalising goal.

There was a rare save for Shauna Smith when the Beechy goalie judged the pace of the ball after a long pass hit downfield by the visitors No21. Monique Pollard who had switched into the back four in the second half was replaced by Emily Walmsley in the 70th minute and Emily quick adapted to the fast pace of this thrilling cup-tie. A great effort from Amie Barratt skimmed the crossbar then Amie, Becky Gregory and Sophie Addison combined to force yet another Beechy corner. Rosie Moorcroft, Aimee Armsden and Emily Walmsley all continued to work hard in their vital team roles while Aimee Greenwood's last vital contribution was a superb ball winning tackle on the edge of the area before she was replaced by Stacy Partridge after eighty five minutes.

Sophie Addison went close to winning the tie for Beechy in normal time but once again she was denied by the Droylsden keeper following a brilliant through ball from Aimee Armsden. An important clearance by Emily Walmsley and a fine reflex save from Shauna Smith in the last couple of minutes were the final pieces of action before the teams were faced with the dreaded penalty kick decider. Stacy Partridge, Aimee Armsden, Amie Barratt and Becky Gregory were all successful with their spot-kicks as Beechy won the shoot-out 4-3.

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