POSTED: October 07 2021 20:48:19. By Keith Long
- Ladies Team Secure Friendly Match Victory
Without an official Greater Manchester Womens League fixture Beechfield United Ladies arranged a Friendly with Flixton Ladies and won this away match 2-1.
On a large grass pitch Beechy with a strong line-up on view had to do some early defending and Julie Ward, Bethany Hill, Shauna Smith and Monique Pollard worked hard to keep the hosts at bay. Becky Topping and Ashleigh Morris featured prominately in midfield and Beechy almost opened the scoring when an effort from Stacy Partridge hit the top of the crossbar with the Flixton keeper stranded. Beechy keeper Holly Grimes pulled off a confident save dealing with a shot on target by the hosts No10 after the ball had rebounded to her off a Beechy defender. Flixton needlessly conceded a corner and Stacy's flag kick was met in the area by Bethany Hill who's header flew straight at the keeper. A piece of clever play by Nicola Campion sent Aimee Greenwood sprinting past a couple of Flixton defenders but Beechy's No7 fired the ball over the crossbar.
Twice Julie Ward made superb ball winning tackles during another spell of strong Flixton attacking before Beechy made a couple of substitutions when Megan Mirfield and Hannah Walker replaced Jessica Jones and Nicola Campion. Flixton Ladies took the lead in the 28th minute after a loose back pass gifted the hosts No10 the easy task of putting the ball in the net from close range. Quickly back in control Beechy created a few half chances before they equalised through Becky Topping who easily slotted the ball past the keeper after a great pass by Julie Ward. A cheeky back heel from Ashleigh Morris found Monique Pollard who went on a solo run down the left wing and her swerving cross into the area was headed clear by the Flixton No4. A few minutes later Beechy forced another corner and after Stacy curled the ball into a crowded goalmouth Bethany Hill's powerful header was a sure fire winner and Beechy led 2-1.
During a quick counter-attack by the hosts a neat exchange of passes set-up the Flixton No3 and though she was in a good goalscoring position shot wide of the target. On the uneven playing surface Beechy continued to create some delightful moves with Stacy Partridge in midfield finding time and space to make a string of pinpoint passes. Holly Grimes made a difficult save look easy just before the referee ended an entertaining first five minutes. Sian Anderson, Emily Walmsley and Becky Gregory who was making her team debut were introduced at the start of the second half as Beechy attacked up a slight slope on the pitch. On several occasions Flixton attempted to catch the Beechy defenders off guard by aiming long balls deep into Beechy's half but Sian Anderson and Bethany Hill remained alert and both players made solid headed clearances. A surging solo run from Becky Topping almost got Beechy a third goal but the hosts keeper made a comfortable save.
Julie Ward suffered the same fate after she had controlled a pass from Megan Mirfield and moved gracefully to the edge of the hosts penalty area. In a raft of substitutions Nicola Campion, Emily Priestley, Shauna Smith, Monique Pollard and Stacy Partridge rejoined the action and Beechy were keen to score a third goal to make the game safe. A long range effort by Flixton's No9 dropped over the crossbar and the hosts continued use of the long ball option forced some excellent defending from Beechy's well organised back four. Finding acres of space on the left wing Monique Pollard made numerous runs deep into the Flixton half and one great cross into the area just needed a teammate to add the required finish. Holly Grimes denied Flixton a late equalising goal with a neat piece of goalkeeping and the Beechy players were happy with their performance and the victory. Player of the Match was Bethany Hill.