It ended up a very disappointing day for Paddock, as they saw their best efforts go in vain, in what was arguably their best performance of the season; a game that well and truly could have gone either way.

The game was played at an extremely high tempo throughout as both teams went neck and neck. Denton shot out to a lead in the early stages through a sensational free kick, before doubling their lead through a contentious penalty decision. The subsequent penalty was brilliantly saved by Ethan but Denton were first to the rebound and lashed the ball home. Things got bad to worse as Denton broke down the right hand side and added to the score line with a great finish across goal, it was a score line that flattered the visitors as Paddock started brightly and were looking a threat every time they went forward. Just lapses in concentration cost them in the first half, as they went into the break 3-0 down but their belief didn’t wain as Paddock almost came roaring back in the second half.

With Paddocks first goal coming from Kieron Molloy who was almost unplayable on the day, taking his red hot form to a new level and it showed, as he broke down the right hand side, left two defenders in his wake and nestled the ball into the roof of the net on his weaker side. A sensational finish that was the beginning of a momentum shift in the game as Paddock continued to pile on the pressure, and deservingly the second goal game through Josh Smith who finally hit his landmark goal. A goal that took him level with Jay Phillips as the all time leading goal scorer in Stretford Paddock’s short history, which is a testament to the unbelievable form he’s displayed this season as he got on the end of some neat piece of play on the edge of the area before stroking home a cultured half volley into the bottom corner.

However, the equaliser eluded Stretford Paddock as they were unable to level it before the game came to an end as they were unable to apply the finishing touches to what was almost a very spirited comeback. There will undoubtedly be disappointment after such a brilliant performance against a side from a higher level but it was a game that worked as a great barometer of just how far the club has come in such a short space of time. Confidence and positives can be taken from the defeat and should stand Paddock in good stead for the rest of the season.

Ronaldo Brown

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