On Saturday afternoon, Stretford Paddock’s return to the Cheshire League went from bad to worse. After a 5-0 trouncing last week, a late Atherton Laburnum winner would mean Paddock’s new year form would be 2 losses from 2 – something unthinkable only a few weeks earlier.

The first half began in a fairly open manner with both sides enjoying possession and advancing into one another’s final third’s. It was in the 32nd minute where Paddock conceded first for the second week on the bounce. Could it have been too many mince pies over the Christmas period?

Atherton’s left back played a nicely weighted pass from deep in behind the Paddock high defensive line. What followed was a race for the ball between the away sides winger and Paddock’s CB, Thomas MacFarlane. The pace of Atherton’s attackers would go on to cause Paddock trouble for the rest of the afternoon and in this case, the winger got the better of MacFarlane. A ball across goal was then picked up by the late of run of Amir Marcos. His shot headed goal-wards and found the back of the net.

Paddock responded excellently – with a goal just 7 minutes later. Ronaldo Brown did well out on the right hand side to knock the ball past his defender and drill in a low cross past the keeper. Abdullah Saeed then used his strikers instinct to throw himself on the end of the ball and guide it into the back of the net. A brilliant goal for Paddock and a chance to construct some momentum.

HT: Stretford Paddock 1-1 Atherton Laburnum U23’s

The second half saw a lot of good energy and link up play between the away side’s front 3. They caused Paddock’s midfield and defence problems but a good performance from Victor Gimenez kept Paddock in the game.

One save to note was Vic’s fabulous finger tip touch onto the post to keep a long range strike out and the scores level at 1-1.

In the 65th minute, Jainiero Salmon-Harris had a chance to put Paddock in the lead. Salmon-Harris dummied his defender on the edge of the box in classic ‘Jainiero style’ before shooting on target. His shot however went down the mouth of the goal and was easy for the goalkeeper to keep out.

Just when it looked like the points were going to be shared, Atherton Laburnum showed some quality late on in the game and snatched all three points. Pierce Ryan received a pass on the right hand edge of the Paddock penalty area. Using his quick feet, he beat one defender and then quickly got a shot away. Before the Paddock defence and keeper could react, the ball had hit the roof of the net – 2-1 to the away side.

FT: Stretford Paddock 1-2 Atherton Laburnum U23’s

Stretford Paddock: Victor Gimenez, James Oat (C), Thomas MacFarlane, Michael Burke, Paulo Incaque, Jainiero Salmon-Harris, Nosa Iyamu, Kayode Adewale, Ronaldo Brown, Abdullah Saeed, Joao De Andrade

Subs: Raphe Barber, Callum Kilroe, Yahya Romanillos, Joe Coleman

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