POSTED: October 27 2022 12:42:52 By Keith Long - Gutsy Display But U/18's Thunder Suffer 4-1 Defeat

On Saturday 22nd October 2022 only eleven players were available when Beechfield United Under 18's Thunder travelled for their Section B away game with Astley Bridge.

*Thunder lost the game but they played much better than the previous Saturday and the scoreline didn't reflect their gutsy all-round display. A slight lapse of concentration in the Beechy ranks resulted in Astley Bridge taking the lead but Thunder's response was a positive one and gradually Beechy got a tighter grip on the game. Beechy worked hard hard to win the midfield battle and both Lucas Madden and Miguel Gikundino frustrated the hosts as they continually won back the ball. Following a free kick on the edge of the penalty area Thunder had a chance to equalise but failed to find a way past the hosts keeper.

A similar pattern of play continued in the second half as Thunder finally started to put real pressure on their opponents and Max Chidgey playing on the left wing caused the Astley Bridge defence all sorts of problems. Against the run of play Astley Bridge went 2-0 up then shortly after the hosts were awarded a penalty but Beechy keeper Andrew Woodward guessed correctly and saved the resulting spot-kick. Due to circumstances out of the Managers control Beechy went down to ten players and suddenly Thunder were under sustained pressure for a while but responded with some gallant defending.

Beechy changed their goalkeeper when Ryley Walker took over from Andrew Woodward who nearly helped himself to a goal following a surging solo run. Man of the Match Miguel Gikundino was running the show in midfield as he continually won possession and Thunder reduced the arrears thanks to a confident finish by Max Chidgey. It was hard to believe that Beechy had a player less than their opponents because Thunder outplayed Astley Bridge who denied Beechy an equaliser with some very good defending. After twenty five minutes of playing with the ten players Thunder's focus and fitness levels dropped and they gifted Astley Bridge two soft goals.

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