Padiham sign off with fine away victory

Clincher: Kieron Pickup hit Padiham's third at Ossett Albion
Clincher: Kieron Pickup hit Padiham's third at Ossett Albion

Padiham concluded their debut season in the Evo-Stik First Division North with an encouraging win, to end the campaign unbeaten un three games.

Conditions were not the best on Saturday, especially in the first half where the Storks not only had to contend with possibly the worst playing surface of the season, but also a strong wind.

Padiham came closest to opening the scoring when Kieron Pickup volleyed an effort against the bar from just outside the area.

Ossett hit back with a similar effort from Caldon Henson, which flew over, and minutes later Henson pulled a shot across goal.

Eddy Birch fored over for the hosts just before the half hour, before Sean Davis saved from close range from David Brown, who then fired across the six-yard box.

Now with the wind advantage, Padiham took the lead on 53 minutes when Chris Turner’s 40-yard free kick soared into the top corner.

Davis kept out an Adam Muller shot, before Padiham doubled their lead just after the hour, as Spencer Jordan got down the left and pulled the ball back for Mark Sharples to finish clincally.

Ossett substitute Kurtis Noble gave Padiham a scare with a shot across goal, but Pickup sealed victory at the death, firing home from the edge of the box.

The reserves drew 2-2 with Barnoldswick Town, with goals from Wayne Morrison and Corey Cook, and now wait on other results to see if they progress to the NWC Reserve Division Trophy semi-finals.

The Under 18s completed what they hope will be the first part of an East Lancashire Youth Alliance double when they won the League Cup Final, beating Fulledge Colts 3-0 at AFC Darwen, with Kieran Gamble, Ben Beardsell and Danny Turner on target.