POSTED: December 01 2022 19:04:00. By Keith Long - Friendly Match Victory For U/18's Thunder

On Saturday 26th November 2022 Beechfield United Under 18's Thunder were without a game in the Bolton Bury and District League so Beechy played a friendly match at home against Howfen Juniors.

*It was the visitors to Salford Sports Village who enjoyed a greater share of the ball in the opening minutes of the game and Beechy full back Harry Shaw made a couple of vital clearances when Howfen moved the ball around with pace on the artificial surface. Slowly Thunder found a better rhythm and at the end of a solo run by Miguel Gikundino the ball rolled onto Lucas Madden who's two shots on target were blocked. Beechy keeper Ryley Walker was in action making two reflex saves and central defender Taonga Mututa won the ball from Howfen's No9 with a superbly timed tackle. The Howfen No8 sent a curling free kick over the crossbar then Thunder's Player of the Match Konstantin Hristova and Harry Shaw were on defensive duty during another attacking surge from the visitors.

Following a corner Howfen took the lead via a neat finish from their No11 but Thunder were soon back level after Lucas Madden supplied an inch perfect pass and Miguel Gikundino casually sent the ball over the keeper for 1-1. After the goal Beechy worked hard to retain possession especially in a congested midfield and one great move involving Andrew Woodward and Callum Snaith won Thunder a corner. Beechy went 2-1 up when Miguel Gikundino controlled a pass from Andrew Woodward and during a breathtaking solo run beat four Howfen players before firing the ball into the net from the tightest of angles. Continuing to enjoy a decent share of the ball the visitors created several chances and Ryley Walker saved an effort for the Howfen No11 who made it 2-2 two minutes later.

Winning the ball with a well timed tackle Andrew Woodward made a darting run and from just outside the penalty area fired the ball straight at the keeper. Max Chidgey used his pace to go past a couple of opponents and his pinpoint cross forced a hasty clearance from the Howfen No5. (HT 2-2) Both Taonga Mututa and Harry Shaw produced some top-quality defending when the visitors made a confident start in the second half. Beechy came under pressure and another good move down the right wing created a decent chance for Howfen's tall No11. Working hard alongside Taonga and Harry was Konstantin Hristiova who was involved in a stylish move with Max Chidgey and Andrew Woodward that earned Beechy another corner.

A long range effort from the Howfen No14 was on target but Ryley Walker was well positioned and he made a fine save. Beechy made some tactical changes when Max Chidgey and Callum Snaith swopped wings and Ryley Walker handed the goalkeeping duties to Andrew Woodward who was soon in action pushing the ball ono the crossbar following a powerful strike from the visitors No8. Thunder's back four continued to keep a lively Howfen front line at bay and Beechy were rewarded when they took a 3-2 lead. Max Chidgey won a corner and from the resulting flag kick Konstantin Hristova displayed amazing accuracy when curled the ball directly into the net.

Howfen surged forward looking for a quick equaliser but Andrew Woodward with a vital save following a free kick and excellent defending again from Harry Shaw, Lucas Madden and Taonga Mututa denied the visitors another goal. Konstantin Hristova re-created his unique feat a second time scoring direct from a corner to guarantee Thunder the win.

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