PADIHAM left it late to get back to winning ways in the NWC Premier Division after beating Glossop North End 3-2.
Following back-to-back defeats against Maine Road and Runcorn Linnets, Steve Wilkes’ Storks started positively in a bid to rectify their recent run as Ben Proctor saved well from Marly Gough on two occasions.
However, against the run of play the hosts took the lead when Sam Marshall’s centre found Ashley Smallwood, and his shot took a wicked deflection of defender Sam Morris to find the net in the 18th minute.
Elliot Dunn’s thunderous 25-yard strike forced a great save from Proctor, and the home side’s keeper was kept busy from Andrew Tinker’s free-kick and a smart double save to deny Ben Allen.
At this stage of the game Proctor was single-handedly preserving his side’s lead, and he was in action once more to thwart Allen, turning his effort around the post, and another Tinker effort in the 37th minute.
At the other end a quick break from the home side, after full back Lee McGregor had won possession in his own penalty box, almost caught the visiting defence off guard, but a brave save from Sean Davis prevented Marshall from doubling the advantage.
Padiham levelled two minutes before the break when a cross from Kenny Taylor was headed against the post by Allen and as Tinker attempted to convert the rebound he was bundled over. Proctor saved Allen’s spot kick but Dunn reacted to smash the follow up home to level the fixture.
Within two minutes of the second half starting, Padiham got the lead their efforts and endeavour had deserved.
A perfectly weighted through ball by Gough released Taylor who raced away to fire past Proctor and make it 2-1.
A clash of heads involving Morris and Richard Winstanley saw the game delayed for a period, with the injuries sustained forcing both players to be substituted.
The stoppage seemed to stunt Padiham’s momentum and allowed the home side back in to the game and the Derbyshire outfit drew level in the 78th minute.
Kieran Fletcher conceded a free-kick which Marshall scored at the second attempt after Davis had saved his initial effort.
Nerves crept in to Padiham’s performance slightly in the aftermath of the equaliser as Mark Sharples cleared an inswinging corner off the line before Davis saved from Marshall.
Then with only two minutes of normal time remaining Ted Cockett’s cross from the right was eventually converted by Taylor, his shot piercing a crowded area, after Nathan Egan’s shot was blocked.
The strike gave Padiham the three points to keep them at the top of the table.
The Storks’ next game is tomorrow night at Bacup Borough (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).