Padiham facing must-win game after latest defeat

Bobby Langford  hit the post for Padiham when they were 1-0 down at Harrogate on Saturday
Bobby Langford hit the post for Padiham when they were 1-0 down at Harrogate on Saturday

Padiham Football Club’s hopes of avoiding relegation from the Evo-Stik First Division North suffered another set back on Saturday when they went down at mid-table Harrogate Railway.

On not the best playing surface, and with an annoying wind making the playing conditions difficult, the Storks more than held their own in a scrappy first half and came out after the break the brighter of the two sides.

Mark Sharples was the first to test home keeper Tom Goodwin, but by far the best chance to open the scoring fell to Bobby Langford, who created space for himself just before the hour mark with a well-controlled run into the area, but then failed to get the power on the shot to beat Goodwin, who managed to turn his effort away for a corner.

At the other end, a simple throughball caused all sorts of problems for the visitors and led to the home side being awarded a penalty on 62 minutes when Storks keeper Sean Davis brought down Stephen Bromley. Malachi Farquharson dispatched the spot kick to put Harrogate 1-0 ahead.

Padiham went close to equalising within minutes of the restart when Langford created an opening which led to his shot hitting the post, but, on 74 minutes, Farquharson ended any hopes of a Padiham fight back when he scored his second of the game to give Harrogate a 2-0 victory.

This was a better performance by Padiham than in recent weeks, but all attention now turns to Saturday’s must-win home fixture with fellow strugglers New Mills, who also lost at the weekend.

The game kicks-off at 3 p.m., and the Storks are hoping that local supporters will turn out in numbers to give the side some backing.

Padiham are a point behind New Mills, having played three games more.

The Storks have seven more games to avoid a return to the North West Counties Premier Division, which they won two years ago.

Two sides are to be relegated, but the team second bottom could yet gain a reprieve if teams fold or resign, depending on other divisions.