Paget Rangers began the 2019/20 MFL Division 1 season in fine style by despatching of league newcomers, Ashby Ivanhoe, by five goals to one.
The match started with the visitors dominating possession and if it wasn’t for their profligacy in front of goal, Ivanhoe could have taken an early lead.
As the half wore on, Paget grew more into the game and began to create the clearer cut chances. First Billy Fagg cut in from the left hand side and after beating two defenders saw his effort go over the bar. Next Daniel Elwell swivelled neatly on the ball and saw a rasping right-footed drive narrowly go over. In the 34th minute, Paget had the lead. Some neat build up play found Elwell on the edge of the box and his left footed shot beat Dyche in the Ashby Ivanhoe goal to put the Bears one nil to the good. The lead wasn’t to last long. On 42 minutes, Paget conceded a corner, and before the ball was crossed in, Aaron Harper-Bailey was adjudged to have fouled an Ivanhoe forward and a penalty was subsequently award. Minshull’s spot kick left Paget ‘keeper Hayward with no chance and the scores were tied at the interval.
The second half started with Ashby Ivanhoe clearly being fired up following their equaliser and Paget were indebted to ‘keeper Brad Hayward for some magnificent saves in maintaining parity. First a stinging shot from Ivanhoe number 9, Kerr Horn, was superbly tipped over, before another fierce shot was somehow tipped wide. These saves were to prove crucial as the match progressed along with some tactical substitutions made by Bears’ manager, Matt Seeley. First though a superb counter attack saw Callum Burston-Keeley break free and round the Ivanhoe keeper only to see his effort hit the side netting with others well placed to tap the ball in. Sam Fitzgerald, Jeorge Smith and Daniel Carter were all brought on and their energy and freshness paid dividends for Paget. On 69 minutes, Carter beat the offside trap and chipped Dyche to put the Bears 2-1 up. Another slick build up play saw the energetic Elwell played through and he beat Dyche low down from an acute angle to put the Bears 3-1 to the good. It was 4-1 on 88 minutes, great short, sharp passing from Fagg, Smith and Carter saw the latter played through on goal and the veteran scorer made no mistake. There was still time for a Paget fifth. Carter was felled in the box by Dyche and stepped up to convert the spot kick to seal himself a 21 minute hattrick and Paget three points on the opening game of the season.
Paget Line-Up: – Hayward, A.Brown, M.Brown, Cullen, Crowley ©, Harper-Bailey (Fitzgerald 53), Burston-Keeley (Smith 60), Mullan, Elwell, Gibson (Carter 53), Fagg.
Subs not used:- Hancox, Hughes
Paget scorers:- Elwell (34,73), Carter (69, 88, 90)
Paget MOM:- Hayward