Tuesday evening saw yet another product of the Paget Juniors production line make his senior debut as 16 year old Alex Bowen lined up in goal for Paget against Ingles at Coles Lane. Bowen was given the call to replace suspended Tommy Doyle.
The Paget youngster certainly didn’t appear to show any nerves in the early exchanges looking calm under pressure and not daunted by the occasion.
With 15 minutes gone though Ingles were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Ingles man Benn Minshull, who slotted the ball low to young Bowen’s left only to see the Paget rookie dive to make a great save and turn the ball around the post! Whilst the crowd celebrated the linesman flagged to indicate Bowen had moved off his line and the referee ordered the kick to be re-taken. This time Minshull made no mistake, sending Bowen the wrong way.
Throughout the game Bowen’s handling was faultless and he was keen to receive the ball from his defenders and at every opportunity looked to distribute quickly and get Paget moving forwards again. A debut to be proud of!
Afterwards we caught up with Manager Parker, “I think we have to be bitterly disappointed with the result, ultimately defensive errors have cost us, however, we have had the lions share of the game and more than enough opportunities to have gone on and won the game. I thought in spells we played some really good football, although we couldn’t find our usual cutting edge in the final third. All of this said the highlight of the night for me has to be the performance of young Alex Bowen in goal. We had no hesitation at all in throwing him into the fray and he certainly didn’t let us down. His handling was assured and his distribution was excellent all night. The penalty save that wasn’t should have been the icing on the cake but that shouldn’t detract from what was a tremendous debut performance.”