PADIHAM recorded their biggest league victory of the season on Saturday with a 3-0 triumph over Staffordshire side Stone Dominoes.
The Storks dominated right from the opening whistle and wasted two excellent openings in the first 15 minutes of the game when Sam Heap shot over and then wide after latching on to respective passes from Nathan Egan and Stuart Telfer.
Egan became the next player to squander a glorious opportunity on the half hour mark as his weak chip over keeper Greg Hill was cleared off the line by defender Dean Smith.
In fact it was 35 minutes before Stone posted any kind of threat though a couple of tame efforts from Steven Allen and Ash Miller were easily dealt with by Josh Boothman.
Padiham, who had endured three defeats on the bounce, continued to press but their profligacy looked likely to cost them again as the teams went in level at 0-0 at half-time.
Egan had the final chance of the half when his effort looped over the crossbar.
The opening 10 minutes after the interval proved to be a replica of the first half with Padiham failing to turn chances in to goals.
But eventually Padiham’s pressure paid off as Egan’s flick on found Heap inside the box and the striker’s shot cannoned in to the back of the net off keeper Hill.
Damien Morrison doubled the Storks lead in the 62nd minute after Martin Broderick’s free-kick was only half cleared in to the path of the midfielder who shot through a crowd of players, making it 2-0.
The hosts had a good chance to halve the deficit in the 66th minute when Matt Bradbury was found with a set-piece but the imposing defender headed wide when unmarked.
At the other end Egan’s drive was saved by Hill and from the loose ball Telfer fired wide.
But the points were made safe in the 72nd minute when a long, hopeful clearance found Heap on the right; still with plenty to do the in-form marksman broke free, cut inside and curled his shot in to the corner for his sixth goal in five games, sealing maximum points for Craig Chadwick’s side.
The Storks have no midweek fixture but entertain Glossop North End at the Arbories Saturday with kick-off at 3 p.m.
Elsewhere, Padiham Reserves progressed to the quarter-finals of the NWC Reserve Division Cup competition with a 4-1 home win over Ashton Town at the Arbories.
The tie was a much closer affair than the scoreline suggested but the game will be remembered for the fact that Storks midfielder Tom Bradley scored all Padiham’s goals.
At half-time Padiham led 1-0 after Bradley headed home in the 18th minute against the run of play as the away side tested keeper Sean Davis on a number of occasions after his return to action from a three-month absence through injury.
But the away side’s pressure paid off early in the second half as they equalised through Andy Simm to make it 1-1.
Padiham regained the lead in the 70th minute when Marc Beckett was bundled down inside the area and Bradley dispatched the resulting spot kick.
That soon became 3-1 as Bradley held his nerve to score again from the penalty spot, this time after a foul on Michael Taylor.
However, the best goal of the tie arrived with 10 minutes remaining as Bradley’s long range effort flashed past Ashton keeper Carl Williams.
Padiham FC’s A team went down 3-2 away to Waddington in a closely contested East Lancashire Football League encounter.
Trailing 2-0 at the break the Storks pulled one back through Anthony Lynch and within five minutes of the restart the Storks youngsters were level as Harrison Price scored from close range.
The deciding goal came from the home side with 20 minutes remaining courtesy of a long range strike.
There was better fortune for Padiham under 18s who thrashed Whinney Hill 8-0 at the Arbories.
Gary Hill and Harrison Price grabbed a brace apiece while Andy Hill, Stephen Cassidy, Matty Ashworth and Patrick Mortimer all found the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Billy Grant gave Padiham under 12s a 1-0 lead at half-time against Fulledge though injuries saw the Storks falter in the second half as they fell to a 5-1 defeat.
And Padiham Ladies were dumped out of the cup with a 4-0 defeat at home to Bolton Wanderers Ladies.
Three goals in seven mad minutes in the first half all but ended Padiham’s hopes before the game was secured as the visitors added a fourth in the 65th minute.