Padiham Reserves are at the double

ONE UP: Antony Lynch opens the scoring for Padiham Reserves in their cup final win on Saturday
ONE UP: Antony Lynch opens the scoring for Padiham Reserves in their cup final win on Saturday

Padiham Reserves topped a phenomenal campaign for the club by winning the divisional cup competition with a 3-1 win against Cheadle Town Reserves at the Arbories.

It was the Storks’ third piece of silverware this term in a season of unprecedented success which saw Steve Wilkes’s senior setup seal promotion from the NWC Premier Division while the reserves also cemented the league title.

Having beaten Cheadle the week before in the final league game of the season, the Reserve Division champions started favourites to become only the second reserve side in the history of the North West Counties to complete a league and cup double.

Early exchanges proved indecisive, but this all changed after the half hour mark when Anthony Lynch broke down the left before cutting inside and curling a shot over goalkeeper Ashley Gotham to give Padiham the lead.

The hosts doubled the lead five minutes before the interval when a Ryan Brereton corner created havoc among the visiting defence and following a scramble Tom Bradley converted from close range to put Padiham 2-0 up.

Cheadle raised their game after half-time and after a couple of squandered openings finally reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute through substitute Carl Sutton.

However, any hopes of a fight back were extinguished almost immediately when a precise through ball from the restart released Nathan Egan and the pacey forward made no mistake when firing past Gotham to restore Padiham’s two-goal advantage.

Both sides crafted openings before the final whistle, but it was Padiham who lifted the trophy.

Elsewhere, there was heartache for Padiham FC’s youngsters as they lost on penalties against AFC Darwen in the East Lancashire Alliance Under 18 Youth Cup final.

Work commitments and injuries saw the Storks start with just nine men and they went behind after 15 minutes.

Joel Melia’s arrival saw Padiham’s numbers rise to 10 but they fell two goals behind deep in to first half stoppage time.

The 10 men fought superbly after the break and pulled a goal back through Danny Turner’s header before Melia levelled.

Padiham clung on to see out extra time but their bravery and courage went unrewarded as they cruelly lost on spot kicks.