POSTED: March 31 2022 22:33:07. By Keith Long
- 4 Second Half Goals Guarantee Thunder Victory
In the Bolton Bury and District League a tricky away game faced Beechfield United U/17's Thunder when the players and officials travelled to play Little Lever Vipers on Saturday 26th March 2022.
*Conditions were perfect for football and Beechy needed a good performance to guarantee themselves all three points as they continue to chase Section D honours. Little Lever kicked-off the match quickly adopting the long ball style of play and Zion Agbiji under pressure made a vital headed clearance then Thunder's keeper Andrew Woodward dealt with a attempt to score from the hosts No8. Following a throw-in to Beechy Konstantin Hrostiva had a half chance but he shot wide of the target then the Vipers keeper made two saves in quick succession following efforts by Tom Cox and Prince Idusuyi. Both teams had to deal with the unnatural bounce of the ball on the artificial which didn't the flow of the game.
The Vipers took the lead in the 12th minute following a superbly executed free kick by the hosts No7 but Thunder were back level three minutes later. Konstantin Hristova supplied a great through ball which was controlled by Prince Idusuyi who was fouled in the area and from the resulting spot-kick Max Chidgey made it 1-1 at the second attempt. Little Lever's long ball option and shoot on sight tactic caused real problems for the Beechy Boys and after some slack defending Thunder found themselves 2-1 down. Using the roll-on-roll-off substitute rule Beechy made some early changes when Ishor Bajgai and Lucas Madden replaced Konstantin Hristova and Luke Cunliffe.
Working hard to get a better foothold in the match Thunder relied heavily on the back four and both William Whipday and Zion Agbiji produced last ditch ball winning tackles. Andrew Woodward made a smart save following a header from the Vipers No11 and minutes later Beechy's keeper was in action again as the hosts threatened to score a third goal. Jack Davies, Samuel Oludoyi and Dominic Lawton linked-up in a great move which won Beechy a corner and from the flag kick Prince Idusuyi sent a header just off target. Just before half time Little Lever were awarded a penalty after a foul by Andrew Woodward but Thunder's keeper redeemed himself when he made a great save following the spot-kick taken by the Vipers No10.
Thunder made a tactical change at the start of the second half when Harvey Walker replaced Riley Walker but Beechy were soon under pressure as the hosts maintained a constant flow of counter-attacks. Following another lapse of concentration by a couple of Thunder defenders Little Lever went 3-1 up and Beechy knew they had to step up a gear if they were going to aviod a surprise defeat. Following a few positional changes Thunder reduced the arrears in the 61st minute when Prince Idusuyi produced a trademark run and fired the ball low past the keeper from inside the area. The Vipers were quickly on the attack and called into action both William Whipday and Samuel Oludoyi were forced to produce more vital defending.
Like so many other games this season Beechy's high fitness level was again a major factor in the second half and gradually Thunder got a tighter grip on the contest. There were chances for Tom Cox and Max Chidgey before Beechy's equalising third goal on seventy six minutes thanks to a brilliant mazy run past three opponents by Samyel Oludoyi and a superb sidefooted finish from Dominic Lawton. Less than five minutes later endless Beechy pressure was rewarded when the Vipers keeper misjudged a low shot on target by Ishor Bajgai and allowed the ball to roll into the corner of the net. Good goalkeeping from Andrew Woodward plus more excellent defending by Thunder's back four during a tense final few minutes denied the Vipers chances of another goal.
Beechy's Man of the Match Ishor Bajgai created the highlight of the game when he completed the scoring via a world class free kick from thirty yards.