Paget Rangers Defend Against Atherstone Town

Match Report: Paget Rangers 1-0 Atherstone Town

Paget Rangers knocked league leaders Atherstone Town off the top as the Bears took all three points in the Royal town of Sutton Coldfield.

A goal from Karl Walker set up by Ross Dempster was the difference on a sunny day in North Birmingham.

The Bears could have taken the lead when Luke Hennessy got on the end of an indirect free-kick, but his touch was too heavy and the ball went over.

Atherstone had their own chance to take an early lead when Liam Kirton and Dean Morris collided, resulting in a free-kick to the visitors. Nathan Haines stepped up, but hit the wall with the follow-up from Alex Naughton being blocked.

Moments later Taylor Byrne struck wide, before going on a great run, squeezing past two Atherstone defenders to set Warren Brooks up, who shot wide.

A great ball to Jonathan Gould looked promising but Paget defended well, seconds later the Atherstone left-back saw his long range effort go wide.

As the half went on the Adders took control mainly due to poor passing from the Bears, but in the 20th minute it looked like the Bears wouldn’t need to pass on the floor as Jem Mills did well to win a clearance from Josh Benton, and then win the second challenge but unfortunately the Paget forward couldn’t find his way to goal.

Only three minutes passed and Paget had a great chance to go up, an excellent one-to-one passing play from Byrne with Ross Dempster but the low cross wasn’t attacked by a Paget player.

Paget’s dominance lasted only until the half-hour mark when Atherstone began to take control but it only resulted in a long range shot from Danny Harris.

Midfield Battle

The Wee Gers responded almost immediately when Curtis Shiels got on the end of a Byrne crossfield pass, but Shiels sent his shot over despite being in a great position.

Following the Shiels attempt the pendulum swung back to Paget, and as the half came to a close the Bears were denied a penalty when Ryan Walker was brought down in the box, but the referee were waved calls for a spot-kick away.

In the dying moments of the half a neat free-kick routine between Mills, who was having an excellent half harassing the Adders’ defence, and Morris looked promising but the Wee Gers couldn’t find the net.

Paget returned from the break with a bang. A great roulette move from Morris took the Paget midfielder past the Atherstone defender, allowing him to feed Dempster whose low pass into the path of Walker was converted from close range.

The visitors stepped up and even made a double substitution in a bid to find an equaliser. But it was the Bears that looked more likely to score, Dempster was denied in the 16th by a great save and Mills was denied a follow up. Minutes later Dempster had another attempt at goal from range, and was then played through by Mills but Carl O’Neill got down well to deny the Paget forward a chance at goal.

Paget Defend Their Lead

Nathan Corry and Mills both had chances to double the Wee Gers lead but Benton did well to deny an Adders free-kick, and as the game entered the last 15 minutes the away side finally began to step it up.

Paget denied Atherstone several times as the game came to a close, but the visitors were handed a lifeline when the referee announced seven minutes of added time. Emboldened by their successful defence in normal time the Bears managed to hold on for a well-earned victory.