Table-topping Stretford Paddock are back in action this weekend against Salford Victoria, in what is now just five more league games of the season remaining and Paddock are expecting five wins from five if they’re going to end the season as champions.

Coming off a subpar 4-1 victoria against bottom of the league side AFC Oldham, the team are well aware that they will need a massive uptick in performance this time around if they are going to be able to avoid a possible upset against a dangerous and mercurial Salford Vics side who have only played nine league games all season. Howson has been on record this week stating his discontent with the performance and setting out just how important each and every remaining game is, anything can happen on any given day and with De La Salle just one point behind with a game in hand there is simply no margin for error.

Something to keep an eye on, however, is the blazing hot form of Kieron Molloy who has Josh Smith’s goal scoring record in his sights, currently three goals behind with just five league games to go – with the form he’s in and with Josh out of action for the rest of the season, it would actually come as a surprise if Kieron isn’t able to overtake Josh come the end of the season. This weekend will however see the return of Will Hobson and Cameron Watters, who will undoubtedly help strengthen what has been an injury-ravaged squad in recent weeks.

The league is no longer in the hands of Howson’s men but they can just control what they can control. After all, points on the board trump ‘games in hand’, and as things stand, Paddock hold just a one-point lead at the top of the table. Anything can happen and if Paddock are able to win out the rest of the season they will be there or thereabouts.

Mitul Mistry

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