After two frustrating defeats Paget looked to get their season going with a trip to Stafford Town. Stafford had the first chance and a good one at that, good cross from the right but fortunately the striker volleyed it just wide. Stafford had another chance after 10 minutes but skied the effort.
This was the wake up call Paget needed and they took control of the game from then on with a scintillating first half performance. Good work from Niall Clarke to beat 2 men and hit a decent shot which was just over. Jamie Smith then started to get on the ball in the hole and make things happen and eventually the goal came 23 minutes in. Euan Kemp and Max Turner linked up well down the left wing with the latter whipping in a delightful cross, and under pressure from striker Niall, the defender knocked it into his own net. 1-0 to Paget.
The second goal came 2 minutes later and this one was a cracker, Jamie played a good ball into Max and he hit an unbelievable strike from 25 yards and the keeper just watched it fly into the top corner. 2-0.
Stafford responded and worked a decent chance for themselves on the edge of the box but it was a tame effort and straight into Dylan Mandaracas’ hands. Paget immediately went up the other end and made it 3-0, another cracking goal. Euan went down the left after a ball from Jamie out to him, beat his man and cut it back for a grateful Max Turner to slot it home and make it 3-0.
Half Time: Stafford 0 Paget 3
Stafford came out strongly in the second half and added a bit more tempo into their play, moving the ball a lot quicker and stretching Paget’s defence. Cameron Day and Justin Burns doing really well to stop them forcing Dylan Mandaracas into making a significant save. Paget had a quick counterattack which was worked well again down the left side between Euan, Jamie and Max before the latter fired just over the bar this time.
Stafford then managed to get a goal back from a wide free kick, it went through everyone and snuck into the far corner. The game slowed down after this, Paget managing the game well with Olly Gethin and Ryan Butler, Captain on the day, screening well and intercepting Stafford play. Stafford did win a penalty which looked very soft at the time, but Dylan stepped up to the plate and made a good save to keep the scores at 3–1.
16 year old Louie Newbold made his second first team appearance of the season which is great to see, a fantastic young talent who will make plenty more appearances for sure. There was also a debut for Joe Gough-Wesson with 15 minutes to go, he came on up front and caused problems for the Stafford defence and had a decent effort save by the goalkeeper. The Paget players saw the game though well and were delighted to get their first win of the season.
Full Time: Stafford 1 Paget 3
MOTM : Max Turner
After the match Manager Dwight Blake was in understandably buoyant mood and praised his teams clinical finishing as they bagged three goals away from home. No less than 8 of the players who featured on Saturday were aged 20 or younger and have progressed through the Club’s Youth system, including four 17 year olds who started the game. Here is what Dwight had to say post match.
“There are moments in the game where players need to be even more alert and switched on, so as to make the difference. We had worked hard in training to recognise such instances while attacking and defending. Throughout the game we stood as a collective unit with our passing being crisp and sharp. Eventually we managed to overpower our opponents through the belief and confidence that started to build as the game progressed.
Although it was a brilliant team performance, youngster Niall Clarke deserves a standing ovation for having led the line extremely well and similarly it would be a mistake not to recognise the clinical finishing of fellow teenager Max Turner. We must now carry this momentum forwards into the fixtures which are coming thick and fast at the moment.”