Padiham’s hopes of causing an EvoStick First Division North upset failed to materialise at the Arbories on Saturday when Darlington 1883 took the spoils with a 2-0 victory.
The visitors didn’t get it all their own way, and needed a 14th minute strike from David Dawson to go in at half-time 1-0 ahead. But it was a lead the Storks almost wiped out in an electrifying start to the second half.
Right from the off the home side caused panic in the Darlington ranks when a Danny Boyle shot flashed across goal while Dominic Craig thumped an effort into the side netting.
Boyle was in the thick of things again minutes later with a 20-yard blockbuster that goalkeeper Mark Bell did well to tip over. Bell then made an even better save in the 53rd minute, this time from Louis Mayers’ downward header that he acrobatically turned around the upright.
The Storks were more than a match for their opponents at this stage but it was always going to be the next goal that decided the game, and in the 68th minute it went Darlington’s way.
From a soft free kick, the ball was sat up at the back post and headed in to the path of substitute Nathan Fisher to slot in from close range.
The away side, from that point, never looked like surrendering their two-goal cushion and at the final whistle it was the away supporters who left the happiest.
Padiham FC Reserves had no fixture but travel to Silsden tomorrow night for a North West Counties Reserve Division fixture, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
Meanwhile, Padiham FC under 18s consolidated their position at the top of the East Lancashire Alliance Youth League with a 2-0 home win over Lammack on Sunday.
Danny Turner and Ben Beardsall netted for the Storks, who had beaten the Blackburn side by the same scoreline in the divisional cup competition earlier in the season.
Elsewhere, Padiham FC Ladies needed extra time to beat AFC Liverpool Ladies in the North West Womens Regional Cup competition on Sunday after the tie ended 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes. Justine Wallace scored in normal time, but two goals from Becky Hayton in the additional period clinched a 3-1 win for the Storks.