Nine-man Paget dig deep to win late on
Paget Lions produced a stunning display of grit to overcome a two-man disadvantage and score a pair of goals in extra time to defeat Wolves 4-2 in the Shield Trophy semi-final last night.
With the score 2-2, Paget were reduced to ten men in the 53rd minute when Julian Carpenter received two yellow cards in the space of two minutes for a pair of reckless tackles.
Tahjae Welch followed shortly after when he received a straight red for foul and abusive language towards referee Tracy Adams, leaving Paget to play the remainder of the second half and all of extra time with nine men.
With two minutes of extra time remaining, Robert Richardson secured the victory for Paget when he started a move from the halfway line, playing two “give-and-go passes” before beating goalkeeper Cameron Holdipp with a firm strike.
Mike Stovell, Paget's manager and stand-in coach, said: “It was a hard-fought game.
“We dug deep and prevailed with nine men. We will put this behind us and put our best foot forward in the final.”
Paget scored in the second minute when Marco Piper rose above the Wolves defence to place a header past Wolves goalkeeper Cameron Holdipp from a corner.
Wolves equalised midway through the half when defender Steven Bremar ventured forward on a free kick and connected with a glancing header, which landed in the bottom corner of Paget goalkeeper Jason Smith's goal.
Paget went ahead again, in the 33rd minute, when Welch beat the offside trap to have a one-on-one with goalkeeper Holdipp. The goalkeeper stayed on his line, making it easy for Welch to tuck the ball beyond him.
In the 56th minute, Wolves levelled in somewhat comical circumstances.
Midfielder Steven Almeida hit a firm shot from 25 yards, which Smith appeared to have covered.
As he was guiding the ball, it hit the upright and landed in the back of the net to the surprise of the goalkeeper.
Welch then turned villain as he was sent off for cursing at the referee reducing Paget to nine men.
However, they did not give up and scored in the second minute of extra time when Demarlo Curtis capitalised on a long clearance, running behind the Wolves defence and placing a shot past the goalkeeper.
With two minutes remaining, however, Richardson secured the victory, giving goalkeeper Holdipp no chance.