Atherton LR 1, Padiham 1

EQUALISER: Andy Haworth
EQUALISER: Andy Haworth

PADIHAM drew 1-1 at Atherton LR’s Crilly Park on Saturday after match officials gave the thumbs up for the fixture to be played less than an hour before kick-off.

Conditions proved less than perfect and after a good opening 10 minutes from the visitors, Atherton were unlucky not to go ahead at the other end when they had a goal disallowed for kicking the ball out of Padiham keeper Josh Boothman’s hands before firing the loose ball home. Boothman was in the thick of things again soon after, saving well from Max Haubus’s angled shot.

The Storks went close through Lee Morris, Sam Heap, Damien Morrison and Ed O’Neill, but as the game approached the half-hour, Atherton had a free-kick deflected wide, before Heap latched on to Marc Taylor’s pass from a breakaway only to blaze over the crossbar.

But the breakthrough eventually came in the 32nd minute. A mistake from Morrison gifted the home side possession and from the resulting attack Alex Stoddern struck beyond Boothman to make it 1-0.

Padiham’s response was almost immediate, and Morris was once again denied by Brobbin and from the corner John Blackley fired just wide. But the Storks’s perseverance was rewarded with an equaliser in the 38th minute when O’Neill lifted a ball into the 18-yard box for Andy Haworth who thumped the ball past Brobbin to send the sides in level.

The second half continued to be a very open affair, but neither side could force a winner and the sides settled for a point apiece.