A panicking start from Paddock saw the Mersey Valley striker with an early chance bearing down on goal before a spectacular stop from Martin Flanagan in net keep the game level in the opening moments.

With Paddock slowly building themselves into the game, a speculative effort from Mikey Burke narrowly went wide of the post seconds before Mersey Valley went close again themselves. A quiet beginning to the first half from both sides with neither finding their feet.

However, a delicate through ball over the top from the opposition saw their striker played through who placed the ball past Flanagan into the back of the Paddock net to give them the lead by a goal to nil. From the goal, Mersey Valley began to find some rhythm with several chances in a short period of time, all smothered well by Paddock’s no. 1.

With just over half of an hour played Paddock find themselves two down after an in swinging free kick bypassed the entire Stretford Paddock defence to find the Valley player who powerfully headed home past a helpless Flanagan, to the serious disappointment of Paddock after an even opening period. After two in quick succession for Mersey Valley, the first half came to a sombre end leaving Paddock with a mountain to climb if they wanted to get anything out of this game.

Half Time: Stretford Paddock 0-2 Mersey Valley

The second half began with neither side taking a foothold on the game, similarly to that of the first half, despite the score line suggesting a more one-sided affair.

Paddock began to find their feet and ease their way back into the game with more clear cut chances despite seriously testing the Mersey Valley goalkeeper, who had a very quiet game up until that point before a ferocious Kieron Molloy strike crashed off the bar.

That would be the last piece of action of the afternoon for Molloy who found himself in trouble after a dangerous challenge saw him see red, leaving Paddock with ten men going into the final 30 minutes still trailing by two.

An uneventful period followed once again with neither side creating anything noteworthy, with the red card really taking the sting out of the match. A Paddock push was not enough to get themselves back in contention with the game petering out.

Defeat for Paddock against a resolute Mersey Valley side after such a positive run of results is a tough one to take, but the boys will take it into their stride and aim to bounce back next time out.

Ewan Macleod

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