PADIHAM were spot on in their Lancashire Co-Operative Challenge Trophy clash against Atherton Collieries on Monday night as they advanced to the second round after a penalty shoot-out.
The Storks earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw on the night at Atherton’s Alder Street ground, before gliding to a 4-1 victory on penalties.
The first chance of the game fell to Andy Sensale in the seventh minute when he forced the home keeper Josh Harris to save well.
The Storks new signing Martin Broderick had a goalbound shot blocked on the half hour mark, but it took a penalty seven minutes later for the deadlock to be broken.
A foul on Padiham’s Martin Parkes brought about the spot kick, which Lee Morris tucked away.
The hosts had a good chance to equalise just before the interval but Paul Shanley miscued and Storks keeper Martin Campbell saved the effort.
Moments later, as play switched to the other end, Harris tipped a Sensale effort around the upright.
Shanley had the first opportunity of the second half, firing a shot across the face of goal and inches wide of the far post.
Ed O’Neill should have added to Padiham’s lead in the 57th minute, but when Harris blocked his effort, the home side launched a rapid counter-attack and Phil Williams converted from close range after pouncing on a back post cross to make it 1-1.
Atherton added a second with 15 minutes remaining when Campbell spilled Sam Parkinson’s effort and Shanley followed up to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
Padiham boss Craig Chadwick made three substitutions before the restart, and that decision proved to be inspired as Morris broke down the right and crossed for Jordan Hulme to fire in an immediate leveller.
Campbell then ensured that the tie went to penalties when he prevented Jonathan Bridge from snatching victory with a smart one-handed save.
Campbell then became the hero of the night, saving the first two Atherton penalties, while Padiham’s Morris, O’Neill, Hulme and John Blackley all converted from the spot.
Mike Mulrooney was the only Atherton player to convert from 12 yards out.
Padiham’s game at Alsager Town tomorrow has been postponed.