Padiham’s losing streak continued on Saturday, but their performance against promotion challengers Darlington, in front of a crowd of nearly 1,000, deserved much better.
New signings John Ross, Jake Gregory and Jason Pena Fragueiro were all included in a new-look defensive line up against a lively home side, but the Storks conceded after only six minutes when Craig Haynes’ clumsy challenge resulted in a penalty, which Amar Purewal converted.
Padiham`s young goal keeper Marcus Burgess then showed why he had been included in last season’s England College side with saves from Graeme Armstrong, Purewal and a deflected corner, before having luck on his side when Stephen Thompson broke through but rolled his shot wide.
However, the talking point of the first half came at the other end when what looked like a perfectly good equaliser from Brett Ormerod on 37 minutes was ruled out for what can only be described as a mythical off-side spot by the assistant referee.
A scramble in the home sides defence saw Lloyd Balazs shot saved on the goal line by Darlington keeper Peter Jameson, and Ormerod ran in to tuck away the loose ball, leaving Padiham to celebrate a goal that in turn would be unfairly disallowed, and both Padiham captain Martin Parkes and Ormerod booked for challenging the officials’ decision.
Worse was to follow in the run up to half-time as Jason Pena picked up two yellow cards in quick succession from referee Dean Hulme, resulting in his departure from the game, and visiting officials from Padiham accusing the referee of being heavily influenced by the home crowd, especially when he handed out the second yellow card for a hand ball the player had no way of avoiding.
After the break, Padiham’s 10 men made it as difficult as they could for the home side with some backs to the wall defending, last minute blocks, and excellent saves from Burgess to frustrate the home side’s players and fans, who clearly thought a second half goal spree was on the cards.
Padiham had one chance themselves in the second half, when a quick break by Jason Hart needed a brave save from Darlington keeper Jameson on 55 minutes to keep the effort out.
Then in added on time, Padiham were reduced to nine men after Martin Parkes became the next victim of referee Hulmes’ lack of man management skills when he too was shown a second yellow card this time for what can only be described as an old fashioned shoulder charge.
Padiham will be hoping for a better result tomorrow night when the Storks are at home to Ossett Town in a Evo-Stik First Division North fixture, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
Padiham Reserves 5, Hyde Reserves 3
If it was goals you were after, then the Arbories was the place to be on Saturday when Padiham Reserves progressed in the Lancashire League Cup competition with a 5-3 home win over Hyde Reserves.
Leading 3-0 at half-time, the Storks increased their advantage to 5-0 before a late surge by the visitors made the final scoreline more respectable, as well as giving Padiham a kindly reminder that a football match is 90 minutes long not 60 minutes.
Martin Trickett increased his season’s goal tally by scoring a hat-trick, while Daniel Turner and Corey Cook chipped in with a goal each.