Paget fought off a strong Studley side to fire themselves into the FA Cup qualification places in a rare Monday night matchup.
Initially the Bears got off to a good start, however Studley quickly began to dominate and in the fifth minute were unlucky not to open the scoring when Luke English’s long range shot was deflected onto the crossbar.
Despite a series of set pieces within the first eight minutes the Bees couldn’t sting the Bears, but it looked like it was going to be a long night for the home side.
After another failed corner from the visitors resulted in a goal kick Josh Benton played the ball short to Luke Bradley, the Paget left-back sent a long ball into the path of Ryan Conlon who found Ross Dempster with a low cross. Dempster guided the ball coolly into the bottom corner giving Paget an early lead.
Studley began to pressure Paget again but didn’t look as threatening as they did before Dempster opened the scoring. Meanwhile Lemaar Rhule and Conlon had good opportunities to extend Paget’s lead.
In the 37th minute promising passing play resulted in a Bradley cross going straight across the box untouched and before the break Rhule produced a fantastic bit of footwork before sending the ball over and an opportunity for Matthias Blake came after a dangerous Paget break.
Whilst Studley looked dangerous before the Paget goal, by the end of the half there wasn’t a lot between the two teams and it was still all to play for in the second half.
Expectedly the visitors came out strong, no doubt hoping for an early equaliser. However it was Paget that had the best chance to score early on when Dean Morris’ shot was spilled by Ryan Young, but the Studley goalkeeper was able to sweep up the ball before Conlon could pounce.
With less than 13 minutes of the second half played, the Studley contingent wouldn’t have been foolish to believe they were on the verge of an equaliser when Jake Healy’s lofted ball landed perfectly into the path of Chris Cowley but Josh Benton was quick to react preventing the Bees from drawing level.
The game delved into an end-to-end affair, after the Bears halted a Studley attack Rhule’s quick feet allowed him to find Billy Fagg on the right, the Paget right-back then sent the ball down the line to Conlon. The Paget striker found his way to by-line where he pulled the ball back to Dempster, and the Paget number nine sent his shot over the keeper to double the score.
Studley finally responded with 10 minutes left on the clock with a Healy tap-in halving the score. The goal rejuvenated the visitors and they were jubilant again six minutes later when Healy found the net again, but to Paget’s relief the linesman held his flag up.
Deep into injury time the Bears thought they were about to confirm their three points with a goal when Jack Gibson was played through, but the Paget substitute was fouled impeding his run and allowing the Studley goalkeeper the chance to meet the forward and prevent a third for the Wee Gers.
Minutes later the free-kick was finally taken and sent over the bar by Morris, the resulting goal kick won by Paget meant the Bees wouldn’t have a chance for one last go at the Paget goal.
Updated 22:03 - 4 Apr 2018 by Joshua Smith