It was another frustrating night at The Glades for Smithswood Firs as they lost 2-1 to a good Paget Rangers side despite creating about twenty chances to score.
The home side lined up with the following
Subs: Powers, Anderson, Russell, Sayer
It was a frantic start to the game which was played at a frenetic pace in the opening twenty minutes as both teams tried to get the breakthrough.
Tyron Smith forced a save from the keeper following a great move between Troy Baker and Danny Charlton with Baker spreading a 40 yard pass wide to Charlton who picked Smith out perfectly but he just couldn’t direct his shot past the keeper on what would be a frustrating night for the forward as he would go close several times.
Troy Baker went close next after a brilliant move started from the back by Henry Donaghey. Donaghey played some great one touch football with Curtis Thomas and Danny Charlton to get the ball wide to Baker. Baker shifted onto his left and unleashed a curling left footed shot that went narrowly over the bar. Baker tested the keeper again shortly after with another shot but it was saved comfortably as Smithswood pushed on for the opening goal.
Half hour in both teams went close, first Sam Hulme put a hopeful ball in to Troy Baker. It looked like a lost cause and was going out but Baker managed to keep it in and beat the defender at the same time, he cut inside and hit a bullet shot which went just wide of the far post. Paget then went straight down the other end from the goal kick and were in behind the Smithswood defence but Jake Woodward was off his line quickly to dive at the feet of Danny Carter to smother the ball.
Troy Baker went close again before half time before Paget Rangers got the breakthrough. Danny Carter broke through a few challenges and calmly slotted underneath the keeper to give his team the lead. Troy Baker who was having his own personal battle with the Paget goal almost levelled it straight after but his curling shot that looked like it was heading for the top corner was deflected over the bar.
The home side came out attacking again after half-time and put Paget under early pressure. Tyron Smith tested the keeper following some great work from Curtis Thomas and Troy Baker but he saved comfortably. Troy Baker went close with two efforts but his shots went just wide.
One of the moves of the game almost ended in a goal when Sam Hulme whipped a cross in which was neatly headed down by Martin Crawford. It bounced high as Tyron Smith tried to connect on the half volley but he couldn’t connect fully and Paget then broke down the other end and Danny Carter watched his low shot cannon in off the post to put Paget two goals up.
Lee Sayer replaced the hard working Sam Hulme and Smithswood continued to bombard the Paget goal. They had one back within three minutes as the ball fell to Martin Crawford in the area and his shot had too much power and deflected in off a defender.
Troy Baker had the keeper beaten just after with an amazing volley just inside the area but it went just wide. Lee Sayer then had a shot which looked like it was heading goal wards until it was blocked and then Curtis Thomas knocked it down in the area but Paget scrambled it away. Nathan Leek went close next with a 45 yard screamer that had the keeper scrambling as he looked beaten but his shot went just over the bar. Leek had the next chance but saw his free kick saved comfortably by the keeper.
Paget Rangers held out in the end as Smithswood created enough chances to win the game a few times over but it is pleasing to see them get in those positions and the goals will come. This was a much improved performance from Saturday and there were plenty of positives to take into the next game.
There is no game next week so the lads have a week off to get ready for Barnt Green Spartak on 27th August