PADIHAM continued their impressive away form after stretching their unbeaten run on the road to nine games with a win over Maine Road.
In a first half full of chances, fuelled by the number of set-pieces, neither side could gain the initiative in open play and as a result half-time arrived with the scoreline goalless.
After the break Padiham suffered an early injury to defender John Blackley, and before the visitors had time to make a chang,e the hosts took full advantage of the extra man when Matt Struminskyj found himself on the end of a chip over keeper Sean Davis to fire in from close range in the 52nd minute.
Padiham hit back in the 64th minute with an absolute cracker when a Stuart Telfer corner was only partially cleared and Storks full back Tom Bradley rocketed in a shot from 25 yards out that beat home keeper Andrew Jones.
Padiham’s winner arrived in the 78th minute when a Telfer throw-in found Luke Thompson, and his in-swinging cross from the right found the head of Lloyd Balazs, who steered his effort past Jones to put the Storks 2-1 ahead.
Injuries to Lee Kershaw and Damien Morrison hindered Padiham’s grip on the game and when Maine Road’s Ed Moran followed up a free-kick with a shot through a crowded 18-yard box, it needed a smart save from Davis to preserve Padiham’s lead with only four minutes remaining.
The Storks are without a midweek fixture but take on local rivals Barnoldswick Town on Saturday at the Arbories with kick-off at 3 p.m.
Padiham Reserves 6, AFC Darwen Res 1
PADIHAM Reserves went in to cruise control as they thrashed AFC Darwen Reserves at the Arbories.
Josh Ripley headed in a Nathan Egan cross in the 10th minute to start the goal rush.
Egan then added a second himself three minutes later before goals from Ripley and Richard Cowan gave the Storks a 4-0 lead with only 25 minutes played.
Ripley completed his hat-trick seven minutes from half-time when he was first to pounce after Egan’s initial effort had hit the post.
The second half proved something of an anti-climax with Darwen pulling a goal back through a Zac Slater penalty in the 80th minute and five minutes from the end Ben Sutcliffe rounded off the scoring.
Calder Vale 0, Padiham A 5
A BRACE from Paul Fishwick saw Padiham’s A team hammer Calder Vale on their own soil in the East Lancashire Football League.
Fishwick opened the scoring after just two minutes before Joey Taylor extended the lead with only 10 minutes on the clock. Fishwick added his second on the half-hour mark and Michael O’Reilly added another to make it 4-0 at half-time.
Mark Lane added a fifth for the Storks 10 minutes in to the second half.
Padiham Ladies 4, Penwortham Ladies 1
FOUR different scorers saw Padiham Ladies intensify their Lancashire FA County Women’s League title charge.
Charlotte Holden put the Storks ahead in the 24th minute and eight minutes before half-time the advantage was doubled when Justine Wallace scored.
Becky Hayton made it 3-0 only minutes after the interval and Elise Howarth added another in the 67th minute. Penwortham grabbed a late consolation.
Padiham U11s 1, Barrowford Celtic 1
MAN of the match Mason Hughes shone for Padiham although his side could only manage a draw.