Five-star Storks stretch unbeaten run to nine games

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Padiham have now taken 25 points from their last nine games in the Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League Premier Division after beating Winsford United 5-2.

The Storks are now seventh in the table after recovering from an early deficit at the St Luke’s Barton Stadium as Chris Middleton pounced on goalkeeper Michael Donlon’s mistake to give the home side the lead in the third minute.

Prolific striker James Dean shaved the outside of the upright as the visitors sought an immediate response but went one better midway through the half when leveling proceedings.

The former Chorley and Warrington Town forward scored his 17th goal for the club when heading in full back Ashley Brierley’s superb cross from the right hand side.

The hosts worked hard to restore their advantage with Daniel Kerr’s attempt flashing wide of the post before Adam Bayley’s effort was turned around the woodwork by the fingertips of Donlon.

However, it was at the other end that the goal came after Dean challenged for a right wing cross from Garry Hunter on 38 minutes and Kieron Pickup smashed in the loose ball home to give Padiham a 2-1 lead at half-time.

That lead, though, was gone within 60 seconds of the restart following a rare mistake by Brandon Barski that allowed Jordan Johnson to level the scores at 2-2.

Aaron Taylor had Padiham back in front on 64 minutes when turning in a square pass from Dean and five minutes later Padiham made the game safe.

A sustained spell of pressure from the visitors eventually came to fruition when Chris Turner beat keeper Michael Langley with a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box to put the Storks 4-2 up.

Langley did well to keep out a Dominic Craig shot on goal with his legs as Padiham finished the game strongly while Alex Murphy drilled across the face of goal.

The away side completed the scoring late on when a fine flowing move was finished off by Joseph Whittington at the back post after Dean pulled the ball back from the byline.

Steve Wilkes’s side are now in action on Saturday when Maine Road are the visitors to the Arbories, kick off 3 p.m.