THIS was quite simply the Josh Boothman show as the young Storks keeper single-handedly kept out everything the home side could throw at him in a wind affected NWCFL match.
Right from the 11th minute the Padiham shot-stopper had to be at his best to tip over a Daniel Smith goal bound effort and then three minutes later tip over an inswinging corner from Sean Pearson.
In front of him the Padiham defenders did their bit as well as the gale force winds gave Runcorn a big advantage with the elements favouring them in the first half.
In fact it was 20 minutes before Padiham had their first goal attempt at the other end, and even then Lee Morris’ shot was easily saved by home keeper Peter Collinge.
Runcorn peppered Padiham’s goals with shots as the first half progressed leaving Boothman to deal with efforts from Daniel Smith on 22 minutes, a direct 22 minutes, a direct free-kick a minute later and an attempt by Matt Atherton on 27 minutes.
Boothman pulled off his best save of the opening 45 minutes, nine minutes from the break when he somehow got up to a Louis Savva long range shot into the top corner of Storks goal and tipped it over the bar.
His last save of the half came right on 45 minutes after a free-kick was stopped by his defensive wall only for the loose ball to fall back to Atherton who let fly with an effort that fortunately went straight at him.
In the second half Padiham, even with the wind at their backs had to withstand a bright opening by Runcorn who missed a glorious chance to go ahead on 53 minutes when a break and cross by Atherton on the left found Rob Whyte who headed over from a great position to score.
The Storks went close themselves on 63 minutes when midfielder Martin Broderick let fly with a screamer that shaved the home side’s cross bar.
Lee Morris sent a weak shot wide 10 minutes later and on 77 minutes Broderick again sent in a long range shot, but this also went over Runcorn’s cross bar.
With 10 minutes remaining Runcorn supporters thought the home side had eventually beaten Boothman when another cross from the left created danger in the visitors’ defence allowing substitute Chris Dykes to get off a shot that looked goal bound until somehow Boothman got down to keep the effort out with a combination of his arm and leg.
Padiham had one more chance themselves to snatch a winner when late in the game a Tom Bradley free-kick tested Runcorn keeper Collinge.
Padiham’s mid-week scheduled fixture at Squires gate has been postponed and re-arranged a week later on December 6th. However the Storks are at home to St Helen’s Town this Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.
Padiham Arbories Memorial Sports Ground pitch took a battering on Saturday as did the Storks’ opponents, Glossop North End Reserves.
Torrential rain leading up to and during the game meant that the playing surface cut up badly and coupled with the gale force winds meant playing conditions were extremely difficult.
In the first half Padiham fell behind to a 35th minute headed goal by Paul Bagwell, but in the run up to half-time got back on level terms when Nathan Egan eventually found the back of the net with a shot past Liam Warner.
After the break Padiham showed no mercy to their opponents.
Josh Ripley headed in a Michael Taylor cross on 63 minutes. Daniel Stubberfield made it 3-1 two minutes later and with five minutes remaining in the game Shane Holding headed in another Taylor cross to make it 4-1.
Winning 2-1 with only five minutes to go, Padiham A conceded three late goals to lose to Belvedere 4-2.
Trailing 1-0 the Storks went in front with goals from Patrick Mortimer and Jack Holker.
However their late collapse cost them all three points and a chance to keep in touch with league leaders Rock Rovers.
PAdiham FC Ladies, Padiham FC Under 18s and Under 12s all had their games called off because of waterlogged pitches.
Padiham Football Club’s annual sportsman’s dinner attracted a full house at Turf Moor and helped raise some much needed finances for the club.