THE Storks maintained their impressive unbeaten start to 2011 despite trailing at the interval.
After the break, however, it was all Padiham and in the very first minute of the second half they should have been level when a right wing break by Paul Fildes (pictured) resulted in his cross finding Ed O’Neill at the far post, unmarked and with an open goal. Unfortunately the Storks midfielder completely miscued his shot, slicing the effort wide of the upright to give the visitors a massive let-off.
Their reprieve last all of four minutes until an Andy Haworth free-kick located Padiham’s leading goalscorer Fildes and his shot gave Maine Road keeper Andrew Jones no chance as the scores were levelled.
And immediately after match referee Barry Cropp caused confusion as he seemingly awarded the hosts a penalty following a foul on Fildes. Then, after consultation with his assistant, he changed his mind, awarded the visitors a free-kick and booked Fildes in the process.
Stung in to action Fildes got free a minute later but fired wide. O’Neill then forced the away side’s keeper to save well from a direct set-piece in the 57th minute and on the hour mark Fildes wasted another great chance when he raced on to a long ball only to shoot wide with a weak attempt.
Maine Road’s one and only second half attempt eventually arrived with 20 minutes remaining when Brocklehurst volleyed an effort over the Storks’ crossbar. At the other end, a mad scramble in the visitor’s penalty area following a free-kick ended when Jones turned Tom Bradley’s close range effort away for a corner and from the resulting set-piece Martin Parkes headed over. And a drop ball in the 80th minute resulted in Jones pulling off another superb save, this time from Haworth.
Jordan Hulme broke free in the 83rd minute but shot wide of the target and in the 86th minute Lee Morris had probably the best opportunity of the second half to win the game for Padiham after Fildes played him in on goal, though the finish was once again woeful meaning Maine Road were able to hang on to a point.
Padiham travel to face Silsden tomorrow with kick-off at 7-45 p.m. and will entertain Stone Dominoes at the Arbories on Saturday with kick-off at 3 p.m.
The Storks host one of this year’s Lancashire FA Amateur Cup semi finals at the Arbories tonight between Rossendale Amateurs and Preston side Blessed Sacrament with kick-off at 7-30 p.m. Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Final Score: Padiham 1, Maine Road 1
Edenfield 3, Padiham A 2
A SPIRITED fightback from Padiham A wasn’t enough as they crashed to a cruel injury time defeat.
The Storks worked hard to claw themselves back in to the game from 2-0 down at half-time to level their East Lancashire Football League fixture, with Owen Rekin Pichard halving the deficit on the hour mark before Michael Taylor made it 2-2 just five minutes later from the penalty spot.
Edenfield’s winner in added on time gave Padiham no chance of finding another leveller.
• PADIHAM Reserves, Padiham FC Ladies and Padiham’s Under 11s all hads their respective fixtures postponed, while the Storks Under 16s also had no game as they had players involved in the East Lancashire Alliance youth team’s 7-0 victory over Bolton and Bury at the Arbories on Sunday in the quarter-final of the Lancashire FA U16s Inter-League Youth Cup competition.