POSTED: May 06 2018 22:56:56. By Keith Long
- Beechy Ladies Secure Important Victory
Beechy Ladies secured three vital points as they continued their quest to become Greater Manchester Womens League Division 1 champions. United were away on Sunday 29th April to Didsbury FC who are also in with a chance of winning the title and Beechy were celebrating following a 2-1 victory. United had sixteen players available for what was expected to be a hard fought contest and the teams didn't disappoint a handful of supporters. Both Krystal Haywood and Julie Ward produced some solid defending when Didsbury mounted early attacks down both flanks. Beechy's first positive forward move involving Jennifer Mutch, Krystal Haywood and Becky Topping earned United their first corner of the game. Didsbury's No9 threatened to run with the ball through the heart of United's defence but Gemma Winterburn rescued Beechy with a last ditch tackle. Two quickly taken free kicks by Didsbury's No8 created a couple of half chances but the hosts No29 and No10 saw shots on target blocked as United defended superbly.
When Beechy found more fluency in their play a cleverly disguised pass by Kim Holt sent Natasha Herity on a trademark mazy run that ended with a deep cross into the area that was headed clear by the Didsbury No6. Didsbury forced three successive corners and on one occasion their No11 hit the ball high over the crossbar from twelve yards. Stacy Partridge played the ball between two opponents onto Jennifer Mutch who quickly sent it to Becky Topping but Beechy's No28 saw her effort drift wide of the target. The match was fairly evenly balanced in the opening twenty minutes then United made their first tactical change when Joanna Szafranska was replaced by Sophie Wainwright. Beechy conceded far too many free kicks in their own half and United keeper Rachel Howarth showed a safe pair of hands when dealing with one well worked set-piece by the hosts. On thirty two minutes Beechy made the vital breakthrough when a cross into the area by Stacy Partridge was only half cleared by a Didsbury defender and from twenty five yards Julie Ward beat the keeper with an accurate finish to open the scoring.
The hosts threatened to equalise on numerous occasions after winning more free kicks and corners but United held their one goal lead when the referee ended the first half. Didsbury put pressure on Beechy straight from the restart forcing some safety first clearances from United defenders Elina Parker and Gemma Winterburn. But Beechy quickly displayed more composure when in possession and a volley by Sophie Wainwright was blocked in the area then a great angled pass from Stacy Partridge set-up Natasha Herity who's effort produced a fine one handed save from the Didsbury keeper. The action was end to end and just after Debbie Wright replaced Sophie Wainwright United went 2-0 up in the 69th minute. Julie Ward and Debbie Wright were involved in the move that resulted in Player of the Match Natasha Herity beating the offside trap before going on a clear run and slotting the ball past the advancing keeper.
Stepping up their work rate Didsbury forced some vital defending from Beechy and twice Elina Parker and Krystal Haywood produced well time headed clearances. Keeping the pressure on United the hosts reduced the arrears courtesy of a goal from their No11 following a swift attack down the right wing. More defending was required from Beechy during a tense last ten minutes but United remained well organised and fully deserved their victory.