POSTED: October 22 2020 21:03:46. By Keith Long - 1-0 Friendly Match Win For Beechy Ladies


There was no official league fixture for Beechfield United Ladies so a Friendly Match was arranged with AFC Oldham and thanks to a goal by Emily Walmsley Beechy earned themselves a 1-0 win.

Seventeen players were available for the game that kicked-off in overcast conditions and Beechy created the first chance of a goal and an effort by Becky Topping was confidently dealt with by the AFC Oldham keeper. Both Player of the Match Bethany Hill and Shauna Smith denied the visitors to David Lewis Playing Fields an early goal with some first-class defending. A accurate quick passing move between Sophie Wainwright, Stacey Partridge and Becky Topping deserved a better finish then in the next minute AFC Oldham launched a counter-attack and Beechy keeper Abi Thirsk made her first real save. Beechy looked well organised all over the pitch and in quick succession shots from distance by Becky, Nicola Campion and Aimee Greenwood brought the best out of the visitors keeper.

Hannah Walker was replaced by Danielle Farrand who quickly adopted a midfield role alongside Stacey Partridge and twice Stacey angled passes onto Aimee Greenwood but the latter sent both high crosses at the keeper. Beechy then forced successive corners and on both occasions in a crowded goalmouth the ball was cleared from close to the goal line. For long periods Beechy dominated the ball though the visitors almost grabbed the lead when AFC Oldham's No9 beat the offside trap but Abi Thirsk remained alert and made a comfortable save diving to her right. Emily Walmsley replaced Sophie Wainwright and she was soon involved in the fast action linking up with Becky Topping who set-up a great chance for Aimee Greenwood who's thunderous drive flew over the crossbar. Several jinking runs by AFC Oldham's No8 down the right wing kept Beechy's defenders on their toes and she won the visitors their first corner of the game.

Beechy's all important match winning goal arrived around the half hour mark when Stacey Partridge started a move with a perfectly weighted pass that sent Sophie Addison sprinting down the right flank and Sophie's pinpoint cross was met in the area by Emily Walmsley who knocked the ball past the keeper from about eight yards. Beechy deserved their goal and they continued to to play some good football at a fairly brisk pace that helped create more chances. Once again AFC Oldham focused several attacks down the right flank with their No8 again heavily involved and both Shauna Smith and Bethany Hill dealt with dangerous low crosses sent into the area. During the closing minutes of the first neat footwork by Emily Walmsley carved out a shooting opportunity for Becky Topping who's curling effort was well saved by the visitors keeper.

Leanne Jordan replaced Sian Anderson at the start of the second half and good use of the ball by Danielle Farrand soon had Beechy in an attacking mood. Another piece of superb defending from Shauna Smith then Bethany Hill frustrated the visitors valid attempt to find an equalising goal. Terrific play by Aimee Greenwood took her to the edge of the area and her cross found the unmarked Stacey Partridge who fired the ball straight at the keeper. Play continually moved swiftly from end to end and briefly Beechy were restricted to long range efforts that failed to test the AFC Oldham keeper. Rebecca Watkins replaced Danielle Farrand who had produced a fine all-round midfield display in both halves.

A more open game developed in the last twenty minutes and twice offside decisions rescued Beechy while a quick United counter-attack ended with a pass from Becky Topping finding Nicola Campion but Beechy's No9 saw her snap shot go wide of the target. Two more substitutions took place when Emily and Nicola were replaced by Sophie Wainwright and Sarah Hobson during the latter stages. More good goalkeeping from Abi Thirsk and a few half chances for Beechy were just some of the highlights prior to the referee ending a fairly entertaining ninety minutes.

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