It was a nightmare return to the Central Ground at Coles for Paget Rangers as Uttoxeter Town left with all three points.
An early lead, and three more goals from Uttoxeter buried a Paget side that saw their captain go off injured and their left back sent off.
Uttoxeter took the lead early on when John Atherton made a bursting run through the Paget defence to set up James Curley. The early goal shook Paget, and the Bears struggled to get into a rhythm.
In the 19th minute the hosts were unlucky not to get an equaliser as Dave Yonwin was denied by the Uttoxeter goalkeeper.
It went from bad to worse for the Wee Gers, just after 20 minutes captain Craig Evans pulled up injured allowing Ollie Ritchie a great chance to double the lead, luckily for Paget Ritchie hit the post. The moment was bizarrely described as a “defensive howler” by Switch Sport despite Evans quite clearly being injured – the Bears’ captain would soon be substituted due to the injury.
With Paget now disrupted by the absencency of their captain the Bears struggled further to get into a flow, the visitors took advantage with less than 10 minutes of the half as Atherton slotted the ball home to take Town’s tally to two.
As half-time approached Paget would just need to keep the score as it is and regroup at the break, but the Bears would face further disruption when Taylor Byrne received a red card following a tackle on Uttoxeter’s Jack Holley. Whilst Byrne got the ball the referee deemed the tackle a red card offence.
Just over 10 minutes had been played in the second half and Paget had found themselves down by four goals thanks to a second half brace from Atherton, who scored in the 55th and 58th minute.
The Bears would have the best chances as the game went on, and in the 70th minute Yonwin pulled one back for Paget. Six minutes later substitute Myles Phipps was unfortunate not to get Paget’s second, and if he had done with around 15 minutes left the Bears could have pulled it back.