THREE late goals cruelly ended Padiham’s unbeaten start to the season as they went down 4-3 to Winsford United at the Arbories.
Padiham started the first half with plenty of possession but it was the visitors who had the first shot on target when Sean Davis needed to be at his best to keep out Brian Matthews’ angled drive.
Davis was called inn to action again when saving at the feet of Wayne Wellock but moments later it was the Storks who broke the deadlock when Tom Bradley turned on the edge of the box before firing home.
The Storks had a lucky escape when a mix up between Kieran Fletcher and Davis almost gifted the away side the leveller in the 40th minute but two minutes from the interval Winsford drew level when Andy Keogh ran through unchallenged and though his effort was saved by Davis, Andy Hurst was first to react to bundle home the rebound.
Padiham had a great start to the second half, hitting the crossbar when Bradley got on the end of a left wing cross, but they went one better when Ben Allen converted a Martin Parkes pass in the 51st minute.
Dave Sherlock shot across the face of goal minutes later and Andrew Tinker wasted a great opening when firing over in the 71st minute.
Steve Wilkes’s side added a third goal with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining when Allen was threaded through by Sherlock and the striker made no mistake, shooting beyond Andrew Jones to make it 3-1. But Winsford refused to surrender and gave the home side a taste of what was to come when Davis tipped Matthews’s stinging drive over the bar with 10 minutes of the fixture left.
Matthews reduced the arrears with his next sight of goal though the visitors had goalkeeper Jones to thanks seconds later when he produced an exceptional save to deny Storks substitute Elliot Dunn from putting the game to bed. But at the other end Dunn gave away the penalty that allowed Andrew Hurst to equalise in the 88th minute.
Winsford then completed their remarkable fightback when Kyle McGonigle smashed the ball through a crowd of players after Padiham failed to deal with a set-piece to make it 4-3.
Padiham entertain Colne tonight in the first round of the Lancashire FA Co-Operative Challenge Trophy at the Arbories with kick-off at 7-45 p.m.
Elsewhere, with no scheduled fixture Padiham Reserves sent a young side to play West Lancashire Premier Division side Eagley FC. However, it would be a decision they later regretted as the Storks went down 8-0.
Padiham FC under 18s went down to their first defeat of the season losing 2-1 away to Oswaldtwistle St Marys in the East Lancashire Alliance Youth League despite taking a second minute lead through Andrew Hill.
And Padiham FC Ladies compounded a miserable weekend for the club as they lost 4-1 away to Penrith Ladies in the North West Womens Regional League. Becky Hayton scored Padiham’s only goal.