PADIHAM maintained their unbeaten start to the league campaign in uncomfortable temperatures in Staffordshire on Saturday.
There was very little goalmouth action early on, though Storks keeper Mark Crossley was the busier, saving from Angelo Errico on 17 minutes, and a close-range back heel from Dwayne Spence shortly after.
Padiham had the best of the possession, and enjoyed a series of corners, pressuring the hosts, without finding a cutting edge until four minutes from half-time.
Another corner, from Joe Garvin, was partially cleared, and from the edge of the box, Martin Broderick smashed a low, hard shot home.
Padiham came close to adding a second when Garvin’s 20-yarder forced a superb save from Philip Bruce,
After the break, Errico curled a free kick just wide, but recovered to force a string of saves from Bruce,
Stone’s best efforts sae Crossley again save from Errico, before Kieran Fletcher headed away a Mark Hall shot.
Elliot Dunn headed Broderick’s free kick against the post, and Garvin fored the rebound into the side-netting, before Kenny Taylor saw a late chance turned away, but the Storks had done enough to stay third, and tonight travel to face second-place Barnoldswick Town (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).
Padiham Reserves won 3-1 at home to Wigan Robin Park.
Zack Wilkes opened the scoring on 22 minutes, before Martin Trickett made it 2-0 on the hour.
Anthony Lynch sealed the win on 66 minutes.