With driving rain and a strong wind making weather conditions difficult for both teams on Saturday, Padiham came out on top to complete a North West Counties Football League double over Cammell Laird.
And in doing so, the Storks recorded their first-ever victory at the Northwest Construction Limited Stadium, and their second successive away win to move eight points clear of the Premier Division relegation zone.
The home side tested Storks keeper Mike Donlon early in the proceedings, forcing the visitors’ shot stopper to punch clear a teasing cross, then at the other end, Jordan Scott sent in a ball right across the face of the home goal.
But it wasn’t until the ninth minute the first real shot in anger was registered, when a Daley Woods shot was tipped round the post by Laird keeper Mike Langley.
Ben Glover had a great chance to put the home side ahead on 13 minutes when he out smarted the Storks offside trap before racing in on goal,only to shoot wide after Padiham keeper Donlon was quick off the mark to close down the angle.
Woods shot over the bar on 18 minutes, and within a minute Joe Holt did likewise at the other end with a shot over the Padiham crossbar.
On 22 minutes however, Padiham broke the deadlock when an shot from the edge of the box from Chris Turner bounced back into play off the chest of home keeper Langley, and Jordan Scott fired in the loose ball to put the Storks 1-0 up.
New signing Michael Aspin went close to adding a second for the visitors when, after a goalmouth scramble, the Padiham full back sent his shot over bar on 25 minutes.
Woods headed over a Kieron Pickup cross on 32 minutes, and a minute later Pickup sent a speculative shot on the turn wide.
Cammell Laird finished the first half strongly with Glover sending a 25-yard shot straight at Donlon, Adam Hughes wasted a well-positioned free kick when he failed to hit the target, and Glover shot over after finding some space to get off a shot.
After the break, Cammell Laird had another spell of pressure but failed to make any inroads, allowing Padiham to take control of the game themselves and go 2-0 up on 71 minutes when Woods played in Dave Hankin, who let go a block buster of a shot that gave home keeper Langley no chance.
Mason Ryan had a good chance to pull one back for the home side with 10 minutes to go, but he headed a corner over at the back post.
Sean Cookson had an even better chance to increase Padiham’s lead two minutes later, but couldn`t beat Lairds keeper Langley in a one on one, but the forward made up for this when he won possession late in the game and then set up Pickup to score the Storks’ third of the afternoon and complete the 3-0 victory.
Padiham have two festive home fixtures to look forward to, with AFC Darwen the opposition at the Arbories Memorial Sports Grounds YESSS Electrical Arena on Boxing Day, and Nelson are the visitors on Saturday, January 2nd, both kicking off at 3 p.m.
A mixed Padiham FC Reserves and Youth team side travelled to Culcheth on Sunday to take on Cheshire Under 21 Premier League side Daten FC in a friendly, with the game ending in a 2-2 draw.