Stretford paddock came from behind to defeat Maine Road reserves 3-2 with a last gasp winner.

In the ninth minute of added time and with the game looking to be heading to a draw. Nosa Iyamu showed great strength to hold up the ball before playing through Okera Simmons.

With just the keeper to beat the striker passed the selflessly passed the ball across goal to Gabriel Fernando who tapped in from close range into an empty net to spark jubilant scenes amongst players and staff alike.

The victory only glossed over what was a fairly disappointing performance with manager Stephen Howson, stating the performance was “not good enough and not acceptable.”

Paddock almost fell behind in the opening moments as they struggled to contain the Maine Road striker. A long punt from the keeper sent the striker in on goal who then cut the ball back for the number 11 who scuffed his shot straight at keeper Martin Flanagan.

Paddock had a better chance when Gavin Salmon’s snapshot was saved by the foot of the keeper following Callum Walsh’s run across goal.

Shortly before the midway point of the first half Paddock opened the scoring when Ronaldo Brown took the ball down the wing, his accurate cross found Salmon on the edge of the area and with a gently controlled to settle the ball for Iyamu latched onto the ball to effortlessly curl his shot past the keeper as it clipped the inside of the post before hitting the back of the net.

Controversy followed when a long through ball to the Maine Road striker, who appeared to be in an offside position, swiftly gained possession leaving himself with just Flanagan to beat. Before sitting him down and calmly rolling the shot into the vacant goal.

Barely five minutes later Paddock found themselves again when the Maine Road striker, again looked to be offside received a delicately played through ball. His shot this time struck the foot of the post and rebounded out to the ever so grateful right back who made no mistake by smashing the ball into the back of the net.

Half time: Maine Road reserves 2-1 Stretford Paddock FC

Early in the second half Iyamu picked up the ball on the corner of the area prior to driving towards goal before he was clattered into, earning himself a penalty. The midfielder dusted himself off and coolly placed the ball into the bottom left corner, despite the best effort of the keeper who dived the right way.

[Nosa Iyamu number 10 after scoring penalty]
Minutes later Paddock should have been ahead as Walsh stormed into the box, the keeper at his near post parried away his low pass across goal only as far as substitute Okera Simmons in the middle of the area, with the goal gaping the chance was spurned as he dragged his shot wide.

Maine road earned a penalty when Ritchie Adjei cynically chopped down the Maine road attacker in the box as he was set unleash. The penalty stuck with good power was brilliantly saved by Flanagan in the bottom right corner.

Paddock had a spurn of belief following Flanagan’s heroics and created chance after chance however failed to capitalise and ss the game headed into added time Callum Blanchard tripped the Maine Road winger on the edge of the box as he cut inside shaping up to shoot. The resulting freekick was well hit and Flanagan again expertly saved to keep the game level.

Paddock again believed the game was there to be win and threw everything at it in an attempt to win the game. However, got denied by an instinctive save from Simmons close range effort and Walsh who shot wide of the target stretching for the ball. What followed then was arguably Paddock’s luckiest and most inspiring moment of the season which could prove to be vital in their push for promotion.

Jordan Hart

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