Stretford Paddock FC are back in action on Monday night with non-elite football being allowed to resume after the national lockdown. Paddock’s first game back was originally meant to be played last weekend against Newton, however, that fixture was postponed due to bad weather. Now, Paddock welcome Trafford United to Wright Robinson College hoping to restart the campaign with a positive result.

Manager Stephen Howson and his will be looking to pick up where they left off. Before lockdown, Paddock’s most recent fixture saw them come back from 2-0 down against Urmston Town to win the game 4-3. A scoreline which somewhat flattered the opponents, as Paddock were the much more dominant side throughout the 90 minutes. Nevertheless, Paddock came away with the all important three points thanks to goals from Adam Ashton, James Oatt, Jay Phillips and Okera Simmonds.

Paddock currently sit 4th in the league table after gaining 13 points from the first 7 games. Hadfield Athletic in 3rd and De La Salle in 2nd also sit level on 13 points. A win for Paddock could possibly see them go above Moston Brook in 1st place. But the side would have to beat Trafford by at least 5 goals.

As for Trafford United, they sit in 7th spot in Division One of the Lancashire and Cheshire AFL after picking up 8 points from 5 games. In their most recent fixture, they drew 2-2 against Signol Old Boys. Their last win came against North Walkden in an outstanding 6-5 win back in October.

Stephen Howson said: “Disruption to our playing schedule has been annoying to say the least. Getting match rhythm for the players was important, especially for a new club like us, and even though I still felt performances had more in the tank, it was good to be in the thick of it. Good to see the beginnings of the team starting to mesh together, partnerships and understandings beginning to form.”

“We completed 7 consecutive weekends of fixtures which was a fantastic taste of the intensity of action we were hoping and searching for, when we entered the club into this league. Covid has made the birth of this football club difficult for multiple reasons, including scarcity of facilities, inability to play at all 3 of the venues we’d booked for the first and reserve sides – but we also found ourselves in a decent position in the league. With 2 matches now until Christmas, I’m aiming for nothing except maximum points.”

Stretford Paddock will be hopeful to return the Butchers Arms Ground for their next home fixture against Dukinfield Athletic next Saturday. For this match against Trafford United, the side will play at Wright Robinson College on Monday night for an 8:00pm kick-off.

Fans are allowed to attend, but you are advised to wear a face mask and you must maintain social distancing around the outside of the pitch.

Will Hobson

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