Padiham regain top spot in title chase

VITAL WIN: Kieron Fletcher pictured in action for Padiham in their vital win against Congleton at the Arbories on Saturday
VITAL WIN: Kieron Fletcher pictured in action for Padiham in their vital win against Congleton at the Arbories on Saturday

Padiham climbed back to the summit of the North West Counties Premier Division after registering back to back victories.

The Storks had to recover from a 1-0 deficit at the West View Stadium on Thursday evening against Bacup Borough as David Gray’s cross found Tommy Turner inside a crowded box and his shot beat Sean Davis via the post.

Padiham’s equaliser arrived eight minutes before the interval when Sam Morris broke down the left and his drilled centre was turned in by Kieran Pickup to make it 1-1.

Half chances came and went in the second half until the 82nd minute when the Storks were awarded a penalty after Pickup was upended. Leading scorer Ben Allen tucked away the resulting spot kick to secure maximum points.

And the fixture against Congleton Town followed a similar pattern as Steve Wilkes’s side had to claw their way back from a goal down in the final home game of the season at the Arbories.

The visitors opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute when a free kick was headed back across goal and in at the far post by Andy Alston.

However, the Storks got the break they needed in the 21st minute when a foul on Joe Garvin resulted in a penalty and Allen made no mistake to make it 1-1.

Padiham were awrded another penalty in the 36th minute but this time Congleton keeper Martin Pearson out-foxed Allen to save the spot kick and keep the scores level.

Both goalkeepers were in top form as the game crept closer to the interval with Davis keeping out efforts from Michael Koral and Rick Bailey while Pearson denied Pickup in a one-on-one situation.

Pearson came to Congleton’s rescue again on the hour mark after Padiham midfielder Sharples rifled in an effort from the edge of the box which the Town stopper turned away for a corner. Five minutes later Davis produced an equally good stop to thwart James Louis.

Padiham’s winner arrived in the 72nd minute when Garvin picked up a pass on the right, beat two defenders and clipped in the perfect pass to the back post for Allen to head home his 37th goal of the campaign.

Padiham have no midweek fixture but travel to Brantingham Road on Saturday to take on promotion rivals Maine Road.