Padiham turned the form book upside down on Saturday with a fully-deserved Hallmark Security North West Counties Football League Premier Division win at third placed 1874 Northwich.
The victory ended a run of four games without a win, and put a big dent in their opponents’ promotion hopes.
Early first half pressure by the Storks saw James Dean shoot over from close range on four minutes, and then force home keeper Greg Hall to turn a shot round his own upright, before the game settled into a stalemate.
That was until the last minute of the first half, when a long range shot from Tyler Edwards saw Padiham keeper Mike Donlon push the effort into the path of Sam Hare, who scored from close range to give the home side an unexpected half-time lead.
Both sides created chances after the restart for the second half, before Padiham ended a well-worked move with an equaliser on 71 minutes.
Substitute Jake Townsend found Dean, and his flick on released Kieron Pickup, who smashed the ball past Norwich keeper Hall to level the scores at 1-1.
Home side winger Edwards kept the Storks defence on their toes as the game progressed, but when Northwich keeper Hall slipped when attempting a clearance 10 minutes from time, Pickup was on hand again to score his second of the game to secure the win and the points for Padiham.
The Storks then had a big shout for a penalty turned down when Dominic Craig was felled in the box, and in the run up to the final whistle Townsend just failed to turn in an Alex Murphy cross from close range, as Padiham ended the game as they started in a positive mode.