Padiham Football Club’s fight to stay in the Northern Premier League suffered another set back on Saturday with a 3-1 away defeat to Bamber Bridge, but only after the visitors had given the home side a stern test.
Paul Mckenna fired Bamber Bridge in front after only three minutes when a poor clearance fell perfectly for the home striker to volley in.
Almost immediately however the Storks had a chance to level when a long throw in was headed on by Martin Parkes and Brett Ormerod’s shot was tipped round the post by Lee Dovey. Then from the resulting in-swinging corner by Alex Grice, only a goal line scramble prevented the ball entering the home side’s net.
Padiham survived a similar situation at the other end on 7 minutes when this time the Storks had to clear a corner off their own goal line.
On 25 minutes, Padiham’s Bobby Langford gave the Storks travelling supporters some thing to remember when his mazy run through the home defence ended with his angled shot beating Dovey and putting the visitors level at 1-1.
Bamber Bridge replied with a break down their left and a cross which Alistair Waddecar headed over at the back post on 30 minutes and threatened again 3 minutes later when Storks keeper Dalton had to save well down at the foot of his post.
On 40 minutes however, the home side restored their lead when a quick break by Waddecar saw him score at the second attempt after Dalton saved his first effort.
At the start of the second half, Padiham gave the home side a real scare when firstly Bobby Langford had a shot on the turn saved by Dovey and then John Ross had a goal bound shot blocked on the line by Glenn Steel.
Bamber Bridge weathered the Storks early pressure and eventually found themselves back in the game being denied a third goal when Padiham keeper Dalton saved a close range Andrew Bell effort from inside the Storks six yard box on 71 minutes.
However Bell made amends for his miss 10 minutes later, heading in a left wing cross from close range to make it 3-1, but much to the anger of the Padiham players who thought play should have been stopped to attend to a bad injury to Paul Walsh sustained to be carried from the pitch before the game could be restarted reducing the Storks to ten men.
This soon became nine men when Chris Turner was red carded for a challenge judged to be overly aggressive by referee Justin Hayes, ending any hopes Padiham had of staging a fight back and leaving them with just 13 fixtures left to save themselves from the drop.