By Casey Evans

On a rainy afternoon at Wright Robinson college, Stretford Paddock unfortunately fell to a defeat to Moston Brook in a clash where both teams were able to go top of the table with a win.

It was fortunate that the fixture was able to be played, after COVID-19 restrictions rendered Droylsden unusable, but fortunately Wright Robinson was available, and the game could be played.

There were a few changes from the usual Paddock starting eleven. New signings Gabriel Fernando and Kayode Adewale made their first starts for Paddock, with Nosa Iyamu pushing forward from his usual number 10 position to play up top.

The game started off with Moston on the front foot, pressing forward with waves of attacks which kept the Paddock defence and goalkeeper Kian Pearce very much on their toes. Pearce made a good save from a Moston free kick early on, getting down well to stop a ball that was hit hard and low.

Paddock had a handful of chances on the counter, with Fernando being the creative force going forward. His first found Iyamu with a cutting pass through the Moston’s defence which the goalkeeper and the Moston defender had to put their bodies on the line to stop. The second was again to Iyamu running forward, but this time it was floated over the top by Fernando, however after a good turn by Iyamu, the Moston defender did well to block.

Paddock’s undoing again came from a set piece. Moston won a free kick out wide and the resulting cross was met by the unmarked head of a Moston player, and Paddock were facing another fight back as they went into half time 1-0 down.

Further disaster struck early on in the second half as Moston scored again, following some confusion whether the ball had gone out for a throw in caused Paddock’s players to switch off and Moston took their opportunity well, slotting it into the far side of the set to make it 2-0 to the opposition.

This goal sparked the Paddock side to life. The team began to create more chances, register more shots and then in the 58th minute a long kick by Pearce was headed by to the opposition keeper who lost his grip on the ball and Iyamu who had followed the ball in, was able to latch onto the spillage and make it 2-1.

Seven minutes later another scramble in the box led to substitute Ul-Haque turning and finishing well to make the score 2-2 and put Paddock right back into the game with 25 minutes to go.

Five minutes later more heartbreak came, as despite their best efforts, Moston found a man on the back post free from a good cross and made it 3-2. Paddock tried their best to even the scores again, but saw their best chance well saved by the keeper and were unable to rescue a point come the full-time whistle.

Manager Stephen Howson said: “My initial thoughts were, I thought the players individually played well and there’s not one player I could say had a bad game and we came up against a hard opposition.

“I think every one of my team talks and every one of my interviews after the game I’ve been disappointed and I think it’s strange that the first time I’ve been fairly pleased is when we’ve lost but I think what happened today is we came up against a good opposition.

“I thought Moston were a very good side, a very organised side and they were good for their win and were good for getting their noses in front and that’s why I think I’ve come away from this a little happier than I have when we’ve dropped points the previous two weekends and I think there’s a lot more growing, learning, developing to go, understanding as a team, working as a unit and that’s what we’re trying to do a couple of times a week at training.”

Stretford Paddock FC continues its campaign next week against Urmston Town Juniors again at Wright Robinson College on Saturday 31st October.

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