by Casey Evans
Stretford Paddock FC were made to rue missed chances again in their home fixture against Hadfield Athletic last Saturday, and after a hard-fought game the honours were even in a 2-2 draw.
Set pieces were a big part of Hadfield’s game and this was obvious from the get-go, as they set up in the box for a long throw to make use of their tall, powerful players and within 5 minutes they were ahead as Hadfield swung in a free kick and it was met in the box and slotted home. The visitors were up 1-0.
Paddock struggled to find their feet early on but soon they were able to string together a nice move which put forward Rivaldo Brown clean through on the right-hand side of the box and he calmly slotted home to level up the scores and make it 1-1.
Rivaldo had a chance to double his tally soon after, breaking through and finding himself again one on one with the keeper, but this time he went for power and unfortunately blasted it clean over.
The story was much the same from the week prior, where Paddock were creating high quality chances but unable to slot them home. Adam Ashton unfortunately fell trying to get on the end of a good ball in and couldn’t get it in the back of the net in the resulting scramble.
Paddock went into the half with the scores tied at 1-1 and Stephen Howson, who was back in the technical area for this game, would have been disappointed as he would have wanted his team to go in front first and stay in front.
The second half showed much of the same, with both sides making good chances and a few last ditch challenges from Hopley and Hobson being the difference in the state of play. Unfortunately in the 59th minute, Hopley tried to dispossess Hadfield in his own box and gave away a penalty to Hadfield which they converted to make the score 2-1.
To add more of a headache to the coaches in the Paddock dugout, Hopley unfortunately suffered an injury whilst making a challenge and had to be subbed off with Paddock again searching for an equaliser.
New signing Gabriel Fernandes looked good on the ball and almost found the equaliser with a stunning free kick which seemed to dip out of nowhere, but unfortunately the ball struck the cross bar and Hadfield were able to clear.
In the 83rd minute Paddock got their chance. Fernandes received the ball in the centre of midfield and made an inch perfect pass over the defence to find Jay Phillips, who controlled the ball well and found himself clean through and slotted it home, taking his tally to five for the season and putting Paddock back in the game with around ten minutes to go.
However, neither side were able to capitalise with a deciding goal and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. This was disappointing for both sides as it saw Hadfield remain in 3rd and Paddock remain in 4th with four sides in the league now on 10 points.
Manager Stephen Howson said: “Yeah I didn’t want to bounce back I wanted them to fight back and I wanted them to fight and work hard for what was hopefully going to be a win, obviously it wasn’t a win and the draw feels like a loss”
“Obviously there was a lot of fight shown in that. What we did do is play some wonderful football today, some wonderful one and two touch which is obviously what we’re all about and I think some teams come here and think they can play football against us and after ten minutes, it’s no coincidence everybody sits back on their laurels.
“The problem we’ve got at the moment is that it works when they do that and you can nullify us by getting everyone behind the ball. We got done by a set piece again and a penalty but like I said but like I said the result is all that matters.
“Ultimately we’re here to win and we didn’t win today so I’m not happy.”
Stretford Paddock will continue their campaign at home on the 24th of October against Moston Brook.