PADIHAM returned to winning ways after beating 10-man basement side Atherton LR 2-1 at the Arbories last night.
Jamie Adam had the first real effort on goal when the lively striker tested Josh Boothman, firing straight at the Storks stopper after latching on to a threaded pass in the 10th minute.
The hosts responded with a break down the left through marksman Sam Heap, though his squared pass to Nathan Egan resulted in an effort that keeper Phil Priestley was equal to.
Egan had a further chance three minutes later when Jamie Treanor challenged Priestley and the loose ball dropped kindly for Egan who blazed over the bar.
Heap shot wide from the edge of the box in the 22nd minute and moments later Padiham had a big shout for a penalty turned down when Treanor looked to have been hauled down in the box.
Atherton’s Ryan Taylor powered a long range effort in to the arms of Boothman, and the keeper had to be alert to save Andy Griffith’s deflected drive from a short corner on the half-hour mark.
Egan missed the target after being played through by Treanor and as the home side upped the ante Priestly produced a sublime stop to prevent Ed O’Neill’s screamer from hitting the back of the net.
The Storks had further appeals for a penalty waved away, this time for handball, leaving the scoreline goalless at half-time.
After the interval Padiham began brightly and Treanor was unlucky when Priestley tipped over his goalbound effort.
But the goal that Padiham had been threatening finally arrived as Egan made amends for his profligacy earlier in the fixture to fire past Priestley from O’Neill’s piercing pass.
The Storks doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute when another through ball, this time from Damien Morrison, found Heap who kept up his impressive goal-scoring record for Padiham with a cool finish past Priestley.
The visitors went close to pulling one back when a ball in from the left was headed over by substitute Max Haubus in the 65th minute but he went one better just three minutes later when he converted a measured centre from the opposite flank to reduce the deficit.
But Padiham saw the game out in a professional manner, though their task was made easier when Atherton captain Andrew Barlow was dismissed for violent conduct.
Craig Chadwick’s side travel to AFC Liverpool on Saturday in search of another win, kick-off at 3 p.m.