An injury-ridden Paddock team went into the game hungry to get back to winning ways, desperate to respond after narrowly bowing out of the cup last weekend.

Attention then turned to not slip up in the league against a North Walkden side that had picked up a bit of form going into the game, and the end result was emphatic and again went a long way to prove Paddock’s title credentials.

Josh Smith had been on record watch for a few weeks now and with the form he had shown this season, it was only a matter of when rather than if, when it came to becoming Paddock’s all-time leading goal scorer, he came into game level with Jay Phillips on nine and it only took him 13 minutes to break it, as he guided a well-worked pull back into the roof of the net to open the scoring.

Jay Phillips however was a huge talking point in the game as in the very same game his record what broken he made his unexpected return to club and squad, coming on in the second half of the game late and rocketing in a goal of the season contender on his comeback to draw back level with Josh Smith for the goal-scoring record.

There was also the first start for left winger Joao De Andrade who bagged himself a brace on his first start putting in a strong performance in his own right but arguably the star of the day was Omar Sinclair who dazzled all day with his skills, pace and trickery.

Stretford Paddock now go 3 points clear at the top of the league but De La Salle Reds do have two games in hand so we’ll have to keep a watchful eye on how they fair in their coming games as Stretford Paddock look primed and ready to capitalise on any slip-ups made by the early pace setters; but all in all it was a comfortable victory and another example of the imperious force the team is becoming at this level of football.

Ronaldo Brown

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