PADIHAM’S 10-game unbeaten run was brought to an end as Vodkat Premier League leaders New Mills cruised to victory.
However, the Storks’ performance was significantly better than the scoreline suggested. In the fourth minute Paul Fildes crafted a great opening down the left but scuffed his effort over the bar. Captain Martin Parkes then went close with a similar attempt.
Carlos Meakin tried to break the deadlock for the hosts with an acrobatic overhead effort, but his strike was blocked, and as play reversed Fildes headed a Luke Thompson cross wide.
Christopher Hirst blazed high and wide for New Mills before Padiham keeper Sean Davis was well-placed to save a curling Meakin free-kick moments later.
Then on 24 minutes, Ed O’Neill and Stuart Telfer combined before releasing Damien Morrison whose goal bound shot was well saved by Dominic Ingram-Hughes.
O’Neill then sent in another testing shot that the New Mills stopper grasped at the second attempt.
New Mills fired another warning shot on 35 minutes with a testing free-kick which evaded everybody, but three minutes later they took the lead. A cross in from the right fell in between Thompson and John Blackley, with just enough room for Dean Crowe to nip in and fire past Davis.
Davis was called in to action a minute later to save a shot from Noon and also had to be sharp off his line to cut out a through ball from Crowe.
New Mills’ second goal came three minutes in to added on time at the end of the first half when Thompson failed to clear a ball in from the right and Crowe nipped in again to double the hosts advantage.
Padiham dominated the opening half hour of the second half with Tom Bradley having a 50th minute cross shot blocked, Morrison watched his effort fly over the crossbar in the 53rd minute before Fildes sent a volley from the edge of the box narrowly past the woodwork.
But against the run of play New Mills scored a third in style when full-back Michael Bowler smashed in an absolute screamer from 25 yards out to give Davis no chance and end Padiham’s hopes of salvaging something from the game.
Telfer played in Fildes in the 86th minute in search of a consolation but Ingram-Hughes denied Padiham’s leading goalscorer with a superb fingertip save at full stretch. In time added on New Mills added insult to injury when substitute Carl Carey crossed to the unmarked Meakin who tapped in from close range to make it 4-0.
The Storks will be looking to bounce back against in-form Formby who visit the Arbories tomorrow night with kick-off at 7-45 p.m.
Wigan Robin Park Reserves..................1
PADIHAM came from a goal behind to keep their title hopes alive with a 4-1 win over Wigan Robin Park Reserves.
Andrew Newcombe gave the visitors a ninth minute lead but after Nathan Egan had hit a long range effort against the post, Marc Beckett levelled with a header in the 16th minute.
Egan ensured the Storks led at the interval with another drive from distance in the 31st minute and after half-time further goals from substitute Owen Deakin-Pickard in the 79th minute and midfielder Michael Morrison in the 90th minute made sure the Storks took maximum points and maintained top spot.
PADIHAM’S youngsters struggled to cope with Rock Rovers’ long ball tactics and as a result trailed 2-0 at half-time.
The Storks had much the better of the second half and although Joseph Taylor pulled a goal back they couldn’t equalise despite going close on a number of occasions.