Padiham’s run of eight unbeaten games in all competitions came to an end on Saturday along with the Storks’ hopes of making further progress in the BuildBase FA Vase, when they were knocked out by fellow Hallmark Security North West Counties League side Bootle at the Arbories, in front of their biggest home gate of the season of 290.
In a cup tie played on a pitch affected by heavy overnight rain, both sides contributed to an end to end encounter that had goal mouth incidents right from the kick- off, starting with a Kieron Pickup effort that was deflected for a corner, and then a shot from Bootle’s lively winger Kieran Haligan that hit the upright.
James Dean had his first shot on target on 18 minutes after a run down the channel, and an effort that had keeper Ryan Jones saving low down.
Michael Donlon saved an attempt by Ryan Cox in the Merseysiders’ next attack and then watched a speculative 40-yarder from Steven Jones sail over his cross bar.
However, on 22 minutes the first goal arrived when Donlon mishandled a ball in from the left, and Steven Jones headed in from close range after the ball rebounded back to him after Haligan’s shot that hit the bar.
Donlon was soon in the thick of things again making amends for the error , keeping out a close range header from Cox, and setting up the opportunity for Padiham to try and get back on level terms before the break.
Unfortunately, Dean’s 34th minute effort went wide, and strike partner Aaron Taylor missed a great chance three minutes later when he failed to convert a close range opening set up by Pickup’s pull back on 37 minutes.
The second half started well for Bootle with Donlon needing to save an early Ryan Jones shot, Cox shooting across the face of goal, and then going closer with an attempt that hit the upright.
But Padiham should have been back on level terms on 61 minutes when Taylor found himself through on goal, but unable to finish.
Marc Coyne then went close with a diving header from an Alex Murphy cross, and Chris Turner tested Bootle keeper Jones as the Storks built up a head of steam, only for Bootle to settle the cup tie on 81 minutes after a blunder by Donlon gifted Carl Peers the chance to score from a yard out and send Bootle into the next round of the FA Vase at the expense of Padiham.
Padiham will try for a second time to play their postponed Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy away tie with West Didsbury and Chorlton on Tuesday, kick-off 7-45 p.m.