Parkes on target for Padiham in defeat at world’s oldest club

ON TARGET: Martin Parkes in action against Sheffield
ON TARGET: Martin Parkes in action against Sheffield

There was plenty of history being made at the Arbories on Saturday but ultimately Padiham’s afternoon culminated in defeat.

The fixture against Sheffield FC was the Storks’ first ever game in the FA Challenge Trophy competition while the opposition are, of course, the oldest existing club in world football.

The home side had their 17-year-old goalkeeper Marcus Burgess to thank for keeping the visitors at bay in the opening 20 minutes as he made a string of saves from James Gregory and Andy Gascoigne.

However, midway through the half, the teenage Storks stopper gave his team-mates a scare when he let an effort squeeze through his legs though his blushes were spared as the ball rolled wide of the target.

Padiham’s first real chance of the first half came just after the half-hour mark when Dominic Craig sent in a low cross that caused chaos in the visitors defence before being cleared.

Steve Wilkes’s side had a big shout for a penalty in their next attack when Ben Allen was dragged down in the box but referee Elizabeth Simms waved play on, much to the dismay of the Padiham supporters.

Burgess saved the Storks again in the 37th minute when he kept out a shot on the turn from Zeph Thomas while at the other end Sheffield keeper Jamie Annerson palmed away a Mark Sharples strike.

The away side went close five minutes before half-time when Tom Bradley had to be alert to clear Jamie Hadfield’s header off the line.

The scoreline remained goalless until a quarter-of-an-hour remained when Sheffield broke from deep inside their own half, raced through midfield, and then found some fortune when Bradley’s block directed the ball in to the path of Ben Turner who tucked his shot away to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Sheffield scored a second just seven minutes later when a Burgess free-kick was returned quickly and allowed substitute Joel Purkiss to race away and double the away side’s advantage.

Storks skipper Martin Parkes headed the hosts back in to the game with five minutes to go but not even the dismissal of Gascoigne could help Padiham find the equaliser needed to force a replay.

Elsewhere, Padiham under 18s thrashed Rishton United 8-1 at the Arbories on Sunday in the East Lancashire Alliance Youth League.

Liam Cole scored four for the Storks, Ben Beardsell bagged a hat-trick while Liam Stacey also found the net.

Meanwhile, Padiham Ladies travelled to Carlisle Ladies in the North West Womens Regional League and won 3-1 with goals coming from Emily Wilkinson, Phoebe Hindle and Justine Wallace.