Paget Rangers hopes of qualifying for next season’s FA Cup suffered another huge blow as the Bears fell to their fourth successive league defeat at the hands of high-flying Leicester Road.
Paget started the match on the front foot and could have taken the lead inside the first 2 minutes, Leicester Road skipper Callum Earls blocking Ross Dempster’s goal bound effort.
Leicester Road then took control and went ahead on 3 minutes after a lovely, flowing move – Dom Brennan finding Nuno Gomes on the right, who cut inside and crossed to the advancing Nat Kelly, who hit it first time on the volley with Liam Read on hand to slot in the rebound from close range. On 10 minutes an alert Brennan lobbed the advancing Paget keeper Conal Dowling but his effort was headed off the line by Luke Hennessy. On 24 minutes Leicester Road extended their lead, when Gomes again down the right cut inside and beat two defenders, but while his shot was slightly scuffed it again fell to Read and he buried it in the far left corner. Read and Brennan again combined well shortly after but a last ditch Paget block by Josh McPherson saved another goal and then Brennan also grazed the bar with a 25-yard half volley with the keeper well beaten. Leicester Road continued to press playing some intricate football on the Coles Lane 3g pitch and extended their lead further on 34 when Brennan threw a dummy that allowed Read to slide the ball under Conal Dowling for a clinical hat-trick.
Paget Rangers started the second half much brighter, looking to get back into the game and were handed a lifeline when Nuno Gomes was given a straight red card for Leicester Road after an off the ball incident saw Paget’s Taylor Byrne left in a heap on the ground. This allowed Paget to grow in to the contest more, but they failed to create any clear cut chances until the 84th minute when substitute Jack Jenkins was very unlucky to see his curling drive bounce out of the Leicester Road post with their keeper well beaten. There wasn’t to be a comeback for the Bears however and Leicester Road managed to close out the game for a well deserved three points.