by Casey Evans

Stretford Paddock FC fell to their first defeat of the season against Newton FC on Saturday after winning their first three games in the Lancashire and Cheshire League.

The fixture marked the first of three matches that Stretford Paddock will be playing back at the Butcher’s Arms Ground and before kick-off midfielder Jay Phillips was presented with the player of the month award in front of the 179 fans that had made the journey to the ground.

Paddock suffered from a lapse of concentration early on and it allowed Newton FC to break forward and their player cut inside and curled it into the far side of the net to make it 1-0 to the away side. There was nothing goalkeeper Jonny Hart could do to stop the chance as it was an excellently taken shot.

Paddock had numerous chances throughout the half to get back in the game, a goalmouth scramble which saw shots from Adam Ashton, Louis Fitzpatrick and Nosa Imayu was kept out by the Newton defence and keeper and a fierce shot by Jay Phillips later in the half which unfortunately hit the underside of the cross bar and stayed out.

Disaster struck in the 40th minute however as a freak near post shot from Newton hit the post and bounced off the back of Hart and into the net. Paddock went into half time for the first time in their short existence, 2-0 down.

The second half was very much the same as the first, with Paddock creating multiple chances, but unable to capitalise on them. Substitute Denzel Kuzakwawo had many chances to score, but either saw them well saved, or sail just over the bar.

Blows were traded throughout the half, with both sides up for the physical battle. 32 fouls were committed throughout the match, giving the referee a lot to do.

Paddock however were unable to make any of their chances count and when the full-time whistle blew, the score remained as it was at half time, 2-0 to the visitors. Stretford Paddock FC had suffered their first competitive taste of defeat.

Manager Stephen Howson, who was unable to attend the game as he was isolating, said: “Watching from home was an incredibly frustrating experience. As I’ve stated following all of our recent fixtures, I remain unimpressed with our performances. I know we can do so much better.

“We controlled every aspect of the game, but switched off twice and lose the game on those moments. We have to understand how important concentration is, in football, as those lapses have cost us 3 points, and a perfect record.

“The most frustrating thing is the lack of penetration. As a team we played some great football, yet we didn’t create or finish enough of the chances that presented themselves.

“We are a young team, but a talented team and I believe in this team to get it right. This entire season is a massive learning curve and this weekend was no different. We’ll take our medicine. We’ll learn from the mistakes and we’ll put them right on the pitch.”

Stretford Paddock FC will be hoping to bounce back with a win in their next game against Hadfield Athletic AFC on the 17th October.

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