Padiham punished by ruthless league leaders Warrington

BATTLING HARD: Louis Mayers in action for Padiham.
BATTLING HARD: Louis Mayers in action for Padiham.

Padiham pushed Northern Premier League Division One North leaders Warrington all the way in a weather affected fixture played at the Arbories on Saturday.

Strong winds, heavy rain and a playing surface that deteriorated into a mud bath made it difficult for both teams right from the opening whistle.

The Storks had the better of the opening 20 minutes going close on five minutes when Chris Turner shot just wide and again on 16 minutes when Kieran Pickup forced visiting keeper Josh Ollerenshaw to stretch high up to tip the effort over his crossbar.

Warrington responded on 21 minutes when former Padiham player Ben Wharton tested Storks keeper Sean Davis and Richard Wright fired the loose ball over the home side’s crossbar and a minute later Scott Metcalfe fireda shot across the face of the Padiham goal.

At the other end, Pickup played in Danny Boyle and his shot flew across the face of Warrington’s goal and into the path of Danny Craig whose shot hit the side netting.

The deadlock was eventually broken on 31 minutes when a David Mannix corner was bungled in by Ciaran Kilkeeney from close range.

It was a lead the visitors doubled a minute before half-time after a deep Richard Ananes cross was knocked back in by Kilkeeney for Wright to score from six yards out.

After the break the playing conditions worsened considerably with the referee worried over the state of the pitch, but the game went ahead and after an early missed chance by the visitors Padiham went close themselves when Boyle flashed another shot across the face of goal and Turner curled a free-kick just wide of the post.

Padiham then conceded a soft penalty with a foul on Wharton and from the resultant spot-kick, Kilkeeney gave Warrington a 3-0 lead.

Three minutes later Pickup pulled one back for the Storks, curling in a shot from the left to kickstart a Padiham recovery.

Boyle then flashed yet another shot across goal, Pickup sent in a free-kick that flew over the visitors’ bar and Craig let go a shot that Ollerenshaw did well to keep out.

On 78 minutes Louis Mayers volleyed in a shot that gave the visitors’ keeper no chance.

Warrington responded on 83 minutes with Kilkeeney rounding off a 4-2 victory.

Padiham FC Ladies hopes of reaching the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Trophy final ended on Sunday when they were beaten by 5-3 by Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the semi-final.