Paget Rangers started their home tie against Stapenhill, how they would go on to finish it, very much in control.
Although the Bears dominated early on, it wasn’t until the sixth minute that the home side had their first real chance of game when Ross Dempster connected with, the Stapenhill goalkeeper, Tom Cox’s clearance, after the Stapenhill number one cleared a Paget free-kick.
The chances followed, Taylor Byrne caused trouble and won a corner with a trademark long throw before Nathan Corry’s cross was blocked by Jacob Yeomans – the calls for handball fell on deaf ears, but perhaps it wasn’t as obvious as the ‘goal’ scored by Jay Rodriguez for West Bromwich Albion in their 2-2 draw with Aston Villa the night before.
Following two more Paget attacks, the visitors had their first chance in the 13th minute through George Teeney but the fordward’s shot was easy to save for Conal Dowling.
The game began to open up and in the 20th minute it looked like it was anyone’s for the taking, with the first scorer likely to go on to win the game. Only a minute later and it looked like the Bears would score following a lovely passing movement that would be the envy of Pep Guardiola. Fortunately for the Swans’ Dempster’s effort was sent wide.
The following minute Teeney found himself through on goal, however Dowling was quick off his line to meet the forward, but after winning the ball with a great tackle the Paget goalkeeper stayed down injured. However, despite the Paget goalkeeper being obviously injured play wasn’t stopped until the Bears had regained possession.
Paget’s next big chance came when Corry excitingly beat the offside trap to cross the ball into Fraser-Doyle, who let the visitors off by sending his volley over the bar. As the half went on Paget continued to look dangerous, and a promising Corry cross into the path of Torryn Connolly was blocked.
As half-time approached it looked like it would be a goalless draw at the break, but with a couple of minutes left on the clock Connolly got in front in goal and sent the ball directly at Cox and the Stapenhill goalkeeper let the ball slip through his legs.
Minutes laters Connolly was through on goal, but this time put the ball wide and Paget went into the break with a single goal lead.
Stapenhill had the first attempt on goal coming out of the break when Jamie Disney had his shot blocked, before the most bizarre moment of the game. Corry chased down a Paget clearance to Cox but instead of stopping after the visitor’s goalkeeper had collected the ball the Paget winger crashed into him in what was clearly a throwback to football of a bygone era.
With approximately half-an-hour left on the clock Paget substitute Ryan Walker had a great chance to extend the lead after pulling away on the right hand side, however instead of squaring the ball to an open Dempster, Walker sent the ball wide, a huge let off for the visitors.
Both sides continued to have chances Paget notably through Dempster and Stapenhill through Teeney. But it was the home side who would strike second when Cox was caught in no man’s land, giving Dempster an easy chance to finish.
With Paget 2-0 up with 10 minutes to go the Swans seemed to have resigned themselves to defeat and the home side dominated, with Walker redeeming himself by scoring Paget’s third of the afternoon.