Paget Rangers were going into this match looking to get a result against Wednesfield following a challenging start to the season. The bears had picked up three points from four matches going into last night’s match with the highlight being a home win against Chelmsley Town.
Wednesfield have had a positive start and had picked up seven points from four matches in the league. They beat Coton Green away from home on the opening day and beat Allscott Heath at the Cottage Ground last Tuesday. Another positive for the visitors was their form in front of goal with seven goals from their last two matches in the league.
The weather was clear, and the conditions were good prior to kick off. The atmosphere around Coles Lane was relaxed with supporters looking forward to the match getting underway. Both teams started warming up at 7pm and went through their passing drills. The main stand at Coles Lane offered a great view of the pitch and helped with getting an overview of the match and how both teams set up tactically.
Starting Line ups
The starting line up for Paget included Jai Berry leading the team as the skipper and playing alongside Dominic Ellington in central defence for the Bears. Joshua Baloucoune and Ryan Butler played in holding midfield with the starting formation looking like a 4-2-3-1 with Harry Parker leading the line as the number nine.
Freddie Cockerell and De-Quarni Williams played on the wings with Connor Ryan playing in the number ten role. There were five changes from the team that started against Droitwich Spa at the weekend with Joseph Lowe coming into the team and starting at right back.
Wednesfield’s starting lineup featured Kieran Hart starting in goal. Matthew Martin led the team as the skipper and was playing alongside Harvey Cooper in central defence. Jay Holdcroft led the line as the number nine with the formation appearing to be a 4-2-3-1 with Mitchell Bradford and Ronan Sheenan playing on the wings.
There were four changes from the team that started against Nuneaton Griff at the weekend with Alex Arrowsmith coming into the team and starting at left back.
Wednesfield started the first half brightly and had numerous chances to take the lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match. Paget had to withstand a lot of pressure from the visitors in the early stages of the first half. The attacking threat from the visitors eventually told with Ronan Sheenan scoring a quality goal for Wednesfield in the 12th minute. He managed to find a good position near the edge of the box and curled a brilliant shot into the bottom right corner to give the visitors the lead.
The visitors were getting a lot of joy from the right flank throughout the first half with Mitchell Bradford and full back Joe Prosser getting forward and linking up well to cause Paget problems. Ronan Sheenan had a good chance from a corner and shot wide in the 18th minute for the visitors.
Paget were gradually growing into the match throughout the half and started to show glimpses of quality on the ball. Freddie Cockerell had a half chance to equalise for Paget in the 22nd minute and worked the ball into a good position before shooting at Kieran Hart who saved well. De-Quarni Williams also impressed on the left for Paget and was trying to make things happen for the Bears.
Just as Paget were getting into the match the visitors managed to score a second. Mitchell Bradford cut inside and scored into the top left corner in the 28th minute. The goal was a moment of quality from the visitors and underlined why they have scored so many goals so far this season.
Paget had a huge chance to respond a few minutes later. Freddie Cockerell went through on goal and Kieran Hart made an excellent one on one save for Wednesfield in the 32nd minute. This proved to be a significant moment in the match as Jay Holdcroft got into an excellent position from a long ball and lobbed Lewis Riley to make it 3-0 to Wednesfield in the 37th minute.
The Bears showed a bit of character near the end of the half and Freddie Cockerell was brought down in the box for a penalty. He stepped up and calmy scored into the bottom left corner in the 42nd minute to give Paget a chance of getting something from the match in the second half.
The second half was not as frantic as the first half. This was mainly down to Paget changing formation for the second half and playing a 4-1-4-1 which made them a bit more solid defensively and not as open on the wings. Substitute Harry Smart performed admirably at left-back throughout the half and nullified the attacking threat Wednesfield had on the right in the first.
The Bears had an early chance in the second half with De-Quarni Williams linking up well with Jonathan Millinchip who had a shot go wide in the 49th minute. Freddie Cockerell also created a well worked chance for Paget that went wide of the goal in the 60th minute.
The match was a more even contest in the second half and Paget had numerous chances to get back into it. The bears had a good chance from a corner in the 70th minute that was headed over by Dominic Ellington.
Wednesfield managed to hold on throughout the second half and sealed the win late on through a brilliant move that involved two substitutes. Shakiel Mullings played an incisive through ball to Rhyce Brown who finished well to make it 4-1 in the 88th minute and give Wednesfield the three points.
Despite the defeat there were some positives for Paget in this match. Dominic Ellington looked good in central defence and managed to head numerous balls away from danger throughout. Freddie Cockerell was brilliant when moved to the striker role in the middle of the first half and served as a focal point for the Bears going forward. Harry Smart was brilliant at left-back when he came on at half time. He managed to make the team look more defensively solid by blocking the ball to stop attacks.
There’s a lot of players in the Paget team that have shown promise so far. It’s just a case of things clicking and building a run of form to get a bit of confidence.
Wednesfield were brilliant in this match and stood out in the first half. They managed to work the ball well and build attacks effectively, especially from the right side of the pitch. Mitchell Bradford was brilliant from the right wing and made numerous clever runs off the shoulder to get into good positions for the visitors.
Harvey Cooper had an underrated game at the back and managed to make numerous clearances and headers to stop Paget attacks. Jay Holdcroft played well as the number nine and linked up the play throughout up front. Another strength of the team is the depth in the squad with Shakiel Mullings coming off the bench and impressing in the second half.
Both teams look set for exciting seasons and both are worth following from August to the end of April
FT Score: Paget Rangers 1-4 Wednesfield
Man of the Match: Mitchell Bradford
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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