POSTED: November 03 2018 11:32:19. By Keith Long - Under 14's Storm Entertain Irish Opponents

With no official Saturday fixture in the Salford and District League Beechfield United Under 14's Storm played a friendly match on Sunday 28th October against Drogheda's Emerging Talent Programme Team who were on their annual tour in England. Beechy who lost the match 4-3 had thirteen players available for the game against their Irish opponents that was played at Bolton Wanderers Eddie Davies Academy venue. Quickly adapting to the artificial surface both teams moved the ball around at a brisk pace and Beechy keeper Tom Cox was soon involved making a hasty high booted clearance. A long ball through the midfield area from Charlie Molloy was chased by Archie Cooper but the Drogheda goalie made a comfortable save. Drogheda almost took an early lead but a low drive by their lively No11 bounced back into play off the post. Then as the match switched swiftly from end to end there was a half chance to put Beechy ahead for Leo Handcock following a corner.

Some great defending was required from both Samuel Oludoyi and Ben Howard as Drogheda engineered a flux of quick moves mostly focused down the right flank. Taylor Share made a superb ball winning tackle inside the area when the Drogheda No8 looked certain to open the scoring. The same player was involved in his teams next attacking move sending Drogheda's No11 on a clear run and he forced a fine fingertip save from the alert Tom Cox. Beechy were continually forced to defend as their opponents enjoyed a greater share of the ball and United made a tactical change when Emmanuel Mouanda replaced Bailey Lloyd. A well rehearsed set-piece resulted in Drogheda taking the lead via their No10 after a corner then three minutes later United who were guilty of more slack defending found themselves 2-0 down. Manager Sean Cox got his players fired-up for the second half and within a minute of the restart Beechy had reduced the arrears.

A brilliant angled pass from Adam Rothwell sent Archie Cooper on a mazy run and his accurate low cross was met by Charlie Molloy who's volley bounced past Drogheda's female keeper and into the net. Now playing with much more confidence United created a few decent chances and on one occasion another powerful solo run by Archie Cooper won a free kick but Drogheda's defensive wall blocked an attempt to score by Bailey Lloyd. Slightly against the run of play Drogheda got a third goal and momentarily the Storm had to soak up some unwanted pressure and somehow went 4-1 down. But displaying a never-say-die attitude Beechy found fresh impetus and were rewarded with their second goal. Great skill on the ball from Ben Garlick started the move that saw Player of the Match Archie Cooper outpace two Drogheda defenders and leave the keeper flat footed before slotting the ball into the empty net.

But Drogheda still forced some solid defending from Beechy's back four and both Ben Howard and Zion Agbiji were happy to use the first-time clearance when under pressure while Tom Cox made a couple of vital saves. A fully deserved third goal for the Storm arrived when Charlie Molloy's pinpoint free kick was met by Ben Garlick and his header sent the ball over the keeper to complete the scoring. The result wasn't important just the performance and though United were below-par in the first half their second half display was much more creative. Squad for the game: Zion Agbiji, Luke Carr, Archie Cooper, Tom Cox, Ben Garlick, Leo Handcock, Ben Howard, Bailey Lloyd, Emmanuel Mouanda, Samuel Oludoyi, Charlie Molloy, Adam Rothwell, Taylor Share.

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