A good crowd gathered at Coles Lane on Saturday, including a healthy contingent from league leaders Dudley Town and everyone there was treated to a pulsating game.
Dudley were quick out of the blocks, trying to assert themselves in the game and Paget certainly had to be on their mettle to contain the visitors. But contain they did and with Jamie Smith commanding in the centre of midfield with both Louie Newbold and Fahme Ibrahim, the Bears were certainly giving as good as they got.
It was Dudley though who were presented with the first real chance, when keeper Tommy Doyle was adjudged to have handled outside of the box, when taking a goal kick. Up stepped Dudley’s Harry Crook to take the free kick, in a great position, but struck his shot just over the bar.
Despite a growing number of corners and free kicks for Dudley, it was Paget who took the lead. Szhem Whyte-Hall showing great strength to shrug off the attention of the Dudley defence attacked the left corner of the penalty box before striking a great shot over the Dudley keeper, which came back off the crossbar, however, the ever alert Tim Oyanda was on hand to volley the ball into the roof of the net.
Half Time 1-0
Whilst Paget had matched their opponents in the first half the second half belonged to Dudley and it wasn’t long before they found the equaliser. Harry Crook bursting through on the right cut inside Newbold, who was desperately trying to get back and the Paget man clipped Crook leaving the referee no option but to award a penalty. Owen Massey stepped forward and made no mistake from the resulting spot kick.
Dudley clearly sensed that they could go on and win the game but they reckoned without the heroic efforts of the Paget defence, with Dom Ellington, Donald Egbon, Ryan Kimbeley (who had come on as a half time substitute) and David Anani, all displaying tremendous resilience to keep the league leaders at bay.
In fact Kimberley even found time to get forward in a rare Paget foray to unleash a great shot from fully 25 yards, which the Dudley keeper did well to save.
As the game entered the closing stages the dangerous Crook again broke free down the right before squaring a great ball to Montague, who on the turn couldn’t hit the target, this was to be Dudley’s last real chance of the game.
After standing up to everything Dudley had to throw at them Paget showed exactly why they are such an improved team this term by still carrying an attacking threat. From a looping ball forward, Harry Parker, who had come on as a substitute, showed great strength to bustle his way passed the Dudley defender and through on goal tried to lob the keeper, but perhaps with the adrenalin getting the better of him struck the ball well over the bar.
This was to be the last chance of a great encounter. The intensity and quality both teams showed gave the crowd a game to remember.
Final Score 1-1