Stretford Paddock came into the game with a spring in their step having built up momentum from back to back victories and coming into the game with the knowledge that the visitors have historically been cup specialists, particularly in the Manchester County Cup, as they have featured in the last two finals in the competition so they came into this game carrying a fair amount of pedigree, and were not to be taken lightly. As expected, it was a tight and cagey affair for the most part, where paddock were able to manufacture good opportunities in front of goal but were just lacking the cutting edge. The visitors looked to sit back, soak up pressure and create opportunities on the breakaway and they almost punished the hosts on a couple occasions against the run of play, but for the most part Paddock controlled the game and always looked the most likely.

There were several near misses throughout the game but man of the moment Kieron Molloy came closest in the second half after a low driven cross from Josh Smith was met by Molloy and turned onto the post from close range. The match was edging towards a stalemate and it looked for all intent and purposes that the game was going to have to be decided in a nervy penalty shootout, but that wasn’t to be the case. As in the dying embers of the game, Molloy was controversially taken down just outside the penalty area and after a few deep breaths, Molloy curled a beautiful free kick over the wall and into the top corner with virtually the last kick of the game. The Paddock faithful erupted in celebration as the game had been won with the last kick of the game and the lads go marching on into the next round of the cup and make it 3 wins on the bounce.

Ronaldo Brown

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