POSTED: May 27 2023 22:55:46. By Keith Long
- Storm End Season With 5-4 Victory
At the end of a topsy-turvy season in the Bolton Bury and District League Beechfield United U/17's STORM completed their Section B fixtures with a 5-4 home victory over Wigan Junior Latics.
*Just twelve players were available so the Beechy Boys knew they faced an energy sapping ninety minutes in the heatwave conditions. Some early defending from Josh Everall, Billy Jones and Aaron Cardall dealt with a few Wigan Latics fast counter-attacks. A great through pass from Ben Delaney sent Evan Hodson-Griffiths racing into the visitors half but the cance had gone when Beechy's top goalscorer overran the ball. Latics moved the ball around with speed on the Artificial Playing surface and two fine tackles by Christian Idusuyi and good goalkeeping by David Rice denied the visitors the opportunity of getting the first goal. On nine minutes Storm took the lead after the hard working Callum Nothard forced an error from a Latics defender who's back pass was intercepted by Evan Hodson-Griffiths who rounded the keeper and fired the ball low into the corner of the net.
Both Harrison Davies and Josh Everall were in action again when they defended superbly during another period of Latics attacking and Billy Jones did well when dealing with the visitors dangerous No13. With a clever lob over the keeper Evan Hodson-Griffiths put Beechy 2-0 up and after twenty minutes the teams left the pitch for a well earned drinks break and Beechy made a change when Bradley Oliver replaced Callum Nothard. When play resumed Max Hinchy combined with Ben Delaney and Aaron Cardall who's swerving effort won Storm a corner and following the flag kick Beechy had the ball in the viditors but Josh Everall was deemed to be offside. Twice within ninety seconds David Rice made two fine reaction saves after shots on target by Latics No14 and No10 then a vital goalline clearance by Josh Everall dealt with an effort from the visitors No7. Some positive attacking play down the right wing by Alfie S Jones was a highlight of the second half and his pass found Bradley Oliver who's mazy run almost created a chance of a goal.
Following a long kick downfield from David Rice Storm added their third goal when Bradley combined with Evan who completed his hat-trick for 3-0 with another superb strikers finish. Beechy were slow in finding their rhythm in the second half and enjoying more of the ball Latics increased the pressure when the visitors No15 forced a brilliant save from David Rice. As they wasted possession Storm were given a wake up call after the visitors reduced the arrears and Harrison, Max, Christian and Aaron were forced into defensive duty as Latics got a tighter grip on the contest. Two corners in quick succession for Latics resulted in Storm just happy to boot the ball out of the danger zone and David Rice showed his ability again with another top-class save. Ben Delaney produced a terrific piece of skill in midfield and set-up a chance for Bradley Oliver who's effort missed the target.
After another drinks break Callum Nothard made two superb ball winning tackles when Beechy needed to show much more aggression. The visitors No7 was given far too much time and space during a Latics counter-attack and he fired the ball home for his teams second goal. But Storm replied almost immediately when clever individual play by Harrison Davies was rewarded when his pass was controlled by Bradley Oliver and he curled the ball high into the net off the keepers outstretched right hand to make it 4-2. Maintaining a flurry of attacks down both flanks Latics had an appeal for a penalty waved away but minutes later the visitors were awarded a clear-cut penalty and Latics No10 made it 4-3 from the resulting spot-kick. Bradley Oliver latched onto a through ball from Callum Nothard and moving into the area was the victim if a rash challenge giving the referee no other choice that award Storm a penalty and Evan Hodson-Griffiths with his 38th goal of the season made no mistake with the spot-kick and edge Beechy 5-3 up.
The visitors long ball tactic in the hot conditions continued to test Storm's back four who were caught napping in the closing minutes when the visitors No14 completed the scoring. Beechy were forced to soak up some heavy pressure before they could celebrate their hard earned victory.