Paget Rangers produced one of their best performances of the season to come away from high-flying Cadbury Athletic’s, Triplex Ground, with the three points and a clean sheet on Saturday.
The game started in frenetic fashion with both Cadbury’s keeper, Stuart Parsons, and Paget stopper, Conal Dowling in inspired form. First Cadbury’s attacked down the left putting stand-in Paget right back Jem Mills under pressure, Mills however was equal to Alport’s probing runs and set up a superb counter attack led by Michael Wright. Wright crossing for Dempster who’s effort was narrowly over the bar. Next Fraser Doyle received the ball in the penalty area before shooting narrowly wide of the Cadbury goal. Cadbury’s pushed forward with target man Odane Barnes heading over Demitrius Smikle and Ben Alport saw efforts well saved. Paget began to dominate proceedings and possession with the midfield quartet of Jack Moss, Josh Hawker, Fraser Doyle and Mark Williams dictating the pace of the game. The Bears pressed from the front, with the hard-working Ross Dempster and Michael Wright forcing the Cadbury defence into errors however a sequence of corner opportunities were squandered before Barnes again shot wide for Cadbury’s when well placed.
In the second half Cadbury’s enjoyed far more of the possession and put Paget under unrelenting pressure for much of the second period. Taylor Byrne and Josh McPherson were excellent in defence, whilst Jack Jenkins, playing his third game at left back marshalled winger Matthew Warman effectively. Cadbury’s introduced to former Paget youth players in Jevaughni Robinson and Kennie Roberts as substitutes and the duo almost paid immediate dividends, Roberts feeding the ball to Robinson who broke the offside trap before firing inches wide. In the 80th minute, Cadbury’s finally breached the Paget rear-guard, Robinson’s shot taking a vicious deflection off the back of Josh McPherson, Conal Dowling in the Paget goal however was able to adjust himself in mid-air to tip the ball over for a corner. It was Paget who were to have the final say however in the 3rd minute of stoppage time at the end of the 90, substitute Nathan Corry, who had returned from holiday at 3am that morning, ran with the ball at the Cadbury’s defence, instead of heading for the corner and wasting time as Paget looked to preserve a 0-0, he made for the penalty area, being dripped by Anthony Fitzmaurice. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped in-form striker Ross Dempster to fire the ball home beyond a despairing Stuart Parsons to put the Bears ahead. It was Dempster’s tenth consecutive match scoring for Paget, extending his own club record. No sooner had Cadbury’s kicked off, the final whistle was blown and Paget had emerged victorious with a real smash and grab one nil win to move up to 7th place in the table.