Despite being a man down from early on, Stretford Paddock outperformed their hosts to double their winning streak. Goals from Ronaldo Brown, Tom Jones and Kayode Adewale sealed all three points in an almost flawless performance.
Paddock finished their warmup late and swiftly carried over their intensity into the match. It took only 2 minutes for the visitors to create their first chance and they were clinical. A run down the left from Kieron Molloy ended with a nice cross into the danger area. Ronaldo Brown timed his run to perfection and slotted the ball home.
Despite scoring, Paddock saw no drop off in intensity. Good transitions between midfield and attack created a handful of half chances for the away side. Hartford, however, began to match Paddock’s work rate and defended well.
In the 22nd minute Paddock doubled their lead. Great linkup play between the forward 3 saw the ball fall to the feet of Ronaldo Brown. His shot from inside the area was blocked by a last ditch tackle, yet Tom Jones calmly half volleyed he rebound home.
In contrast to their first goal, Paddock were caught napping straight after scoring. Hartford attacked well via a quick counter attack to win a wide free kick and only 3 minutes after scoring their second, it was 1-2. A good cross from Hartford’s corner was allowed to reach the back post and a well-timed header guided the free ball into the top corner.
Both teams continued to play fight and certainly with their hearts on their sleeves. Midway through the first half, Paddock’s striker, Tom Jones was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for dissent. In the 35th minute a late tackle on Nosa Iyamu caused him to react and subsequently pick up a yellow card. Less than a minute later, Iyamu let out his anger by putting in a late foul on Hartford’s fullback. 2 yellow cards in as many minutes for Iyamu meant Paddock were momentarily 2 men down. Just before half time, Jones came back onto the pitch but Paddock would have to finish the match with only 10 men.
Despite this blow, Stretford Paddock carried on playing in the same fashion. Good chemistry between Jones and Molloy helped release Ronaldo Brown. Brown received the ball, beat his man and but his strike clattered the upright.
HT: Hartford 1-2 Stretford Paddock
The second half was far calmer than the first. Even though Stretford Paddock were a man down, they began to control the half the longer it went on. Hartford seemed to be low on energy and couldn’t match Paddock’s work rate.
Despite their dominance over their opposition, Stretford Paddock didn’t get their first true chance until the 75th minute. Hartford almost shot themselves in the foot when they played a loose ball back to their keeper. The pace of substitute, Nico McCreath allowed him to beat the Hartford keeper to the ball. His shot however, was well wide.
For the second week in a row, Paddock entered the latter stages of the game, despite dominating, only one goal ahead – it nearly cost them. In the 85th minute, Hartford earned themselves a freekick on the edge of the D and they hit the bar. The ball fell loosely to a Hartford player and a sweet strike that was destined for the back of the net was heroically headed away by James Oatt. Paddock’s captain had saved the day once again.
Nerves were apparent amongst the Stretford Paddock bench but deep into stoppage time, man of the match, Kayode Adewale, produced some magic. He collected a loose ball from the halfway line and ran towards goal. His pace on the ball meant nobody could catch him and he beautifully took the ball past the keeper before slotting it home.
FT: Hartford 1-3 Stretford Paddock
Stretford Paddock: Victor Gimenez, Michael Burke, Omar Sinclair, James Oatt, Paulo Incaque (64′ Will Hobson), Nosa Iyamu, Jainiero Salmon-Harris, Kayode Adewale (98′ GOAL) (10′ Joseph Coleman), Ronaldo Brown (2′ GOAL) (85′ Alan Kay), Tom Jones (22′ GOAL) (64′ Joao De Andrade), Kieron Molloy (64′ Nico McCreath)