PADIHAM’S promotion hopes suffered another setback as the Storks surrendered a two-goal lead in a 4-2 defeat against Runcorn Linnets at the Arbories.
After a run of one defeat in 20 Premier Division outings, Steve Wilkes’s side had stormed to the summit.
But two successive home defeats in the space of five days has seen the gap tighten again.
Kenny Taylor (pictured) should have put the hosts a goal up after only four minutes when Ben Allen played in the winger, but the youngster blazed harmlessly over the crossbar.
However, six minutes later Padiham did take the lead when an Andrew Tinker corner was headed into his own net by Michael Burke.
Further Storks pressure saw Taylor in action again and this time he made no mistake, firing past keeper Adam Judge to double the home side’s lead in the 24th minute.
But the visitors forced a way back in to the fixture against the run of play in the 37th minute when Matt Cross’s left wing centre eluded Storks defender Liam Foster and Chris Lomax nipped in to pull a goal back.
This completely changed the momentum of the game though Padiham had a great chance to restore their two-goal cushion just before the interval when Martin Parkes headed Foster’s corner wide from close range.
Matt Atherton’s equaliser in the 57th minute seemingly gave the away side even more confidence and gave them the impetus to push on for maximum points. Then, six minutes later, the game was turned on its head when an excellent move down the left resulted in a clinical finish from Lomax to make it 3-2 to the Linnets.
And Mike Tomlinson’s header from a corner in the 77th minute made it 4-2, leaving the Storks shell-shocked at the final whistle.
Padiham travel to Glossop North End on Saturday hoping to get their promotion charge back on track.