Padiham took all three points at a windswept and freezing cold Seel Park on Saturday.
The Storks played against the elements in the first half and needed an early save from keeper Sean Davis when he kept out a Richard Bennett effort with his feet.
At the other end Louis Mayer’s tested home keeper Russ Saunders with an edge of the box shot on six minutes and in another attack Ashley Carter found himself one on one with Saunders only to see the Mossley shot stopper block his shot with his legs after quarter of an hour.
Lewis Nightingale proved handful for the Padiham defence curling a left side effort inches wide of Padiham’s far post on 15 minutes, sending a 25 yarder off target on 25 minutes and a left sided free-kick into the hands of Davis on 32 minutes.
Brandon Windsor could also have given Mossley the lead first before half-time but his close range effort was once again saved by Davis.
The half ended in controversy however as a challenge by Mayers led to a melee of players pushing and pulling one another before Mossley’s Charlie Anderson was sent off for a headbutt and Mayers being sent off for the original tackle which at worst looked like a yellow card.
With both team’s down to 10 men for the second half and Padiham playing with the wind behind them the Storks had much more of the play and racked up corner after corner but no goals.
Kieron Pickup looked lively and dangerous as the half progressed having a 50th minute shot tipped over by Saunders, a header wide and an in-swinging corner kicked off the goal-line.
A Tom Bradley corner also caused confusion in the home defence but this time the ball curled just inches wide of the back post.
On 67 minutes Padiham went even closer when a Pickup shot was blocked and a Mark Sharples effort cleared off the Mossley goal-line.
Padiham got lucky on 74 minutes when in one of their rare second half attacks Mossley’s Doug Carroll smashed a long range effort against Padiham’s upright.
However the game was decided on 79 minutes when Pickup raced clear, dribbled past four home defenders before shooting past Saunders to score a classic solo effort that was worthy of winning any game at any level.
Richard Bennett tested Davis on 81 minutes with an edge of the box shot which Davis tipped over while at the other end Ash Carter had a great chance to double the Storks’ lead but shot tamely wide with only Saunders to beat.
Padiham have no midweek fixtures but play Ossett Albion at home this coming Saturday, kick-off 3pm at the Arbories.
Padiham Reserves were held to a 1-1 draw at the Arbories by local rivals AFC Darwen Reserves in the first of what will be three group matches in this season’s North West Counties Football League’s divisional cup competition.
But the Storks ended the match kicking themselves for not winning the game.
Wayne Morrison opened the scoring for Padiham only for Stuart Marsden to equalise from a penalty to leave the scores level at half-time.
The Storks had a number of good second half chances but failed to take them to leave the final score 1-1.