Stretford Paddock continued their winning streak in the league after defeating Salford Victoria 4-1 on the weekend, overcoming a tricky and awkward opponent, and taking Paddock six points clear at the top of the league. De La Salle Reds do however have 3 games in hand.
Although the scoreline was comfortable and emphatic, Howson was far from impressed and wasn’t shy in displaying his disappointment, voicing after the game that ‘the performance was unrecognisable’ and he believes performances like that will not win Paddock the league come the end of the season.
One of the positives to take from the game was the emergence of Joao De Andrade who now has 3 goals in 2 starts and has looked a breath of fresh air out wide, cooly slotting the ball past the keeper after an assured first touch out of the air. Things got better as the all-time appearance leader Will Hobson headed home from a set-piece as he continues to build on his ever-growing Stretford Paddock legacy. However, once again, the star of the show who is arguably the star of the season so far, Josh Smith bagged himself a brace, taking him two goals clear of Jay Phillips to become the outright all-time leading goal scorer for Stretford Paddock.
What has much-maligned Stretford Paddock is the lapses in concentration defensively and the lack of consistency with clean sheets, an issue that reared its ugly head again as a Hobson mistake resulted in Salford Victoria punishing the hosts in the latter stages of the game.
With no margin for error in this two-horse title race, those are mistakes Paddock will be looking to cut out of their game so that it doesn’t bite them in important games. But in the end, all that mattered was the win and three point’s and every game is something for the team to build on in their hunt for league glory.