Kieron Pickup hit a hat-trick as Padiham overcame some of the disappointment of going out of the FA Cup competition on Saturday with a fully deserved 3-0 win at Maine Road on Monday night in the NWC Premier Division.
Pickup had an evening to remember for the Storks, grabbing his first-ever treble in a Padiham shirt, and going close to adding to his overall tally on a number of other occasions.
This was an important victory for Padiham, who looked a more lively outfit than in recent games, with Pickup unlucky not to put the Storks ahead on 15 minutes with a shot on goal that home keeper Ryan Livesey did well to save with his legs.
On 23 minutes, however, Livesey was beaten when a pull back from Josh Emmott found its way through to Pickup, who finished off the move with a well-struck effort from 10 yards out to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
On 38 minutes a jinking run by Alex Murphy ended with a pass into the path of Emmott, whose shot was again saved by Livesey.
Two minutes later though, and Padiham found the back of the home net again when Pickup ran onto a Murphy pass, rounded Livesey and scored with an angled shot to double the visitors’ advantage and allow them to go in with a 2-0 lead at the break.
Maine Road started the second half on top, but had a massive let off on 69 minutes when Pickup shot over from the penalty spot after Emmott had been brought down in the 18-yard box by Michael Shenton.
Daniel Hulme tested Padiham’s debutant keeper Michael Donlon with a shot the former Lancaster City player managed to tip over his own cross bar, while at the other end Pickup was in the thick of the action again, this time with a shot against the Maine Road post.
On 87 minutes, however, Pickup’s hat-trick eventually arrived, scoring direct from a 25-yard free kick to give Padiham their 3-0 win.
Padiham are on their travels again on Saturday when they make their first visit to West Didsbury and Chorltons ground for a 3 p.m. kick-off.
Padiham FC Reserves host local rivals Nelson Reserves in the first leg of a two-legged Galaxy Lancashire League cup tie at the Arbories Memorial Sports Grounds YESSS Electrical Arena on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.
Padiham FC Under 16s are at home to Todmorden on Sunday, kick-off 11 a.m., and on Monday evening Padiham FC Under 18s are at home to Bury FC FL Under 18s in the Lancashire FA Floodlit League, kick-off 7 p.m.