Controversial incident is turning point as Padiham suffer heavy loss

On target: Ben Allen scored Padiham's first goal in Saturday's 7-2 defeat at Warrington Town
On target: Ben Allen scored Padiham's first goal in Saturday's 7-2 defeat at Warrington Town

Padiham suffered a heavy defeat at Warrington Town on Saturday - but the game hinged on a controversial decision just after the hour.

With the Storks trailing 3-2, a throughball resulted in Padiham keeper Sean Davis facing a race with Warrington striker Aaran Bowen.

Davis got to the ball first and cleared it, but Bowen charged into the keeper, leaving both players injured.

The loose ball found it’s way to Warrington substitute Ashley Ruane, and with everyone waiting for the referee to halt play, he chipped the ball into Padiham’s unguarded net, with the official allowing the goal.

Davis was replaced in goal by full back Tom Bradley, and Warrington went on to add a further three goals.

The incident prompted an after-match apology from referee Mark Astley, but the damage had been done.

The Storks were trailing after three minutes when Davis failed to hold onto a cross, and Steven Beck poked home the loose ball.

Padiham worked hard to get back into the game, with ominic Craig hitting the bar, before Ben Allen grabbed a deserved equaliser four minutes from half-time.

However, in added time, Warrington got their noses in front again when James McCarten fired in an unstoppable free kick off the underside of the bar.

This soon became 3-1 at the start of the second half, when a throughball released Connor Millington, whose first-time effort was saved by Davis, only for Millington to net the rebound.

Padiham were back in the game on the hour when Kieran Pickup’s cross found Ashley Carter, who laid off the perfect pass for Craif to plant his effort beyond Josh Cook.

Then came the incident that changed the outcome of the game.

After the loss of Davis, Daniel Bell was forced off with injury - joining skipper Martin Parkes, who went off earlier in the game.

And Town took full advantage.

Liam Dawson turned in a left-wing cross on 78 minutes to make it 5-2, Chris Gahgan added a sixth four minutes from time and Dawson added a seventh direct from a free kick in injury time.

On Wednesday night the Storks take on Wakefield in the league at the Arbories, kick-off 7-45 p.m.