06 April 2024

Paddy Madden stepping up when Stockport need him – Dave Challinor

06 April 2024

Stockport boss Dave Challinor hailed hat-trick hero Paddy Madden after his side remained top of League Two with a 3-1 win at Sutton.

Madden, who also bagged a treble in the 8-0 demolition in the reverse fixture, nabbed his third hat-trick of the season as he took his tally to 18 in all competitions for the league leaders.

And Challinor said: “It’s the time of the year where you need experienced players to step up. He’s certainly done that in the last few weeks.

“To come here and get us three goals to win us the game is fantastic.

“They are three different goals. First one was a poacher’s goal, you’d love to get 20 of them a season. The second goal is a good goal on a difficult pitch and the third goal’s a fantastic finish.

“Hopefully he’s still got some left in him. He’s taken us closer, almost touching distance, but we aren’t quite there yet and we kept working.”

The high-flying Hatters are four points clear at the summit and Challinor added: “It was a very professional performance away from home.

“We wanted to take the wind and make use of that in the first half, which we did. We were pretty flawless in the way we played apart from a mistake to give a penalty away.

“We had more control in the second half with the wind in our faces.

“If I was asked whether I’d want the wind with us or against us, I’d always say with. But it was some wind out there. Any balls over the top would have to be some ball to stay on the pitch.

“We got two goals from well-worked set-pieces. The third goal was probably the only time where we had a spell of keeping the ball. The finish is a brilliant finish.”

Sutton remained a point clear of the trapdoor back to non-league and boss Steve Morison said: “We didn’t do our jobs properly at the start of the game.

“Credit to them, they are top of the league for a reason. They scored three excellent goals from Paddy Madden and showed why they are top of the league.

“It was terrible to concede so early. It’s not how you want to start a game of football. It was a disappointing afternoon.

“The third goal was one hell of a finish, it wasn’t a good afternoon for us.

“We hoped for a better performance in the second half and didn’t get it. It’s a frustrating afternoon.

“It’s disappointing because we could be three points further way from relegation. The positive is nothing’s changed in the league table.

“We need to stand up and be counted and try a hell of a lot of harder.

“Charlie Lakin came off injured. It was a big blow losing our best player at half-time. We won’t know anything until Monday or Tuesday, it’s only just happened but fingers crossed.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox