In a game of two halves Stretford Paddock defeated old enemies North Walkden Reserves, to advance to the quarter finals of the Manchester FA Saturday Amateur Cup.

Before Paddock graced the Cheshire premier League 2, they faced North Walkden when both sides competed in the Lancashire and Cheshire league. However, this time with a lot more at stake.

Paddock desperately looking to put together a good performance following previous weeks poor showings, will be disappointed with the start they gave.

Offering chances to Walkden early on they can consider themselves lucky not to fall behind. With only minutes on the clock North Walkden winger dragged the ball inside on the corner of the box before sliding the ball at the back post where the opportunity to tap in was missed after the ball fizzed by the attacker running in at the far post.

Before the 20-minute mark Walkden again had the chance to take the lead, when a flicked ball over the defence left a one-on-one with Martin Flanagan, although the effort was tamely volleyed straight at the keeper.

Walkden’s best chance of the match came moments later when James Oatt lost the ball in defence and with the striker bearing down on goal, the shot evaded the far post to spare the blushes of the Paddock centre half.

Paddock started to grow into the game and created a few chances before the break with, and almost took the lead on the stroke of the halftime. Zak Bell collected the ball just inside the Walkden half, before playing a punt over the Walkden defence. With the keeper missing the opportunity to claim at the far post Gavin Salmon’s control evaded the striker to find the side netting.

Half-time: North Walkden Reserves 0-0 Stretford Paddock FC

[Man of the match Michael Olatunji]
Shortly after the break Oatt collected the ball on the edge of the centre circle and embarked on a run evading two Walkden players before unleashing a shot from 30 yards which beat everything but the goalpost.

A few half chances saw Paddock take a slight control of the game although with the match looking destined for penalties, it was the fortune of two substitutes that turned the game.

With only 15 minutes left on the clock Kayode Adewale, who was dropped to the bench for arriving late, nicked the ball from the Walkden Central defender before being brought down just inside the area to earn paddock a spot kick.

Halftime substitute Nosa Iyamu, who also got dropped to the bench, stepped up. Following last week’s successful penalty on his birthday. The midfield man picked the same spot to send the keeper the wrong way.

Moments later Paddock should have been two up when Kayode took the ball down the left before drilling a cross low in front of goal, and with the empty net staring Joao De Andrade in the face, he blazed his shot over the bar from two yards out.

With only a few minutes left on the clock Joao redeemed himself to make sure of the result. Following Nosa’s threaded pass to find the winger on the left Joao ran along the by line before smashing the ball at the keeper who could only parry the shot into his own net.

[Joao De Andrade elated following his goal]

Jordan Hart

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