Wilkes pleased as Alsager are hit for six

North West Counties football action from Padiham (pale blue) v 1974 Northwich.
Aaron Taylor on the ball.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
2-4-2016

North West Counties football action from Padiham (pale blue) v 1974 Northwich. Aaron Taylor on the ball. PIC BY ROB LOCK 2-4-2016

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It’s fair to say that the Storks are currently the “Jekyll and Hyde” outfit of the North West Counties Premier Division.

After leaking seven goals against 1874 Northwich at the Arbories at the weekend, which boss Steve Wilkes described as the ‘worst’ 90 minutes of his managerial tenure, Padiham responded by hitting Alsager Town for six on Wednesday night.

“We definitely offer good value for money,” joked Wilkes, who had to reshuffle his pack after losing defensive trio Matt Crossley, Tom Fowler and Lee Botham before kick-off. “It’s a funny game but you can’t say that we’re not entertaining. I’m just very pleased with the response.”

It wasn’t an ideal start for the hosts, however, as they had to recover from being a goal down when Jordan Benmon opened the scoring after 11 minutes.

Padiham levelled just before the half hour mark when a corner dropped to Martin Parkes and the defender found the corner from six yards.

And the home side had the advantage at the interval when Jake Townsend - on loan from Morecambe - won the ball on the halfway line, drove in to the area and stuck the ball past goalkeeper Matt Conkie.

The winger grabbed his second of the evening on the hour when racing on to Sean Cookson’s penetrative pass and clipping the ball over Conkie to make it 3-1.

It seemed as though it was game over when Aaron Taylor extended the lead in the 67th minute with the striker tapping home after Conkie had parried Cookson’s shot from the edge of the box.

However, the hosts let their cushion slip as Daniel Brown and Kevin Street made it 4-3 with 12 minutes of normal time remaining.

The visitors were unfortunate not to win a penalty following Seydou Bamba’s rash challenge just before Taylor scored again when rounding Conkie to tap in to an empty net from Garry Hunter’s pass.

The scoring was completed in time added on when substitute Kieron Pickup timed his run to perfection, rounded the goalkeeper and fired the ball past the defender on the line to make it 6-3.

“The good thing about the game was the reaction from my players after losing 7-0,” Wilkes said. “To bounce back from Saturday’s performance like that shows huge character.

“I’m really pleased with all six goals and the three points. Conditions were tough but the groundsmen deserve a big pat on the back for getting the game on.We’re only five points from ninth now so achieving a top 10 finish is definitely on.

The Storks face AFC Liverpool at the Marine Travel Arena on Saturday, kick off 3 p.m.