AFC Blackpool 0, Padiham 1
ANDY Tinker (pictured) netted the only goal as Padiham returned home from Blackpool on Tuesday night with their first win of the new North West Counties League season.
The Storks’ close-season signing Joe Garvin caused the hosts all sorts of problems in the opening 20 minutes, sending in a number of low, hard crosses that just needed a touch to convert.
But Blackpool survived, and when Sam Morris broke wide on the left and sent a dangerous cross into the path of Garvin, the provider then mis-hit his shot, sending it wide, giving the home side another let-off.
On the half-hour mark, a change in Blackpool’s formation closed a lot of space being created by Padiham down, and led to wide man Jason Dodwell getting more involved for the hosts, causing a scare when he shot across the face of the Storks’ goal and then crossed to the back post for Marc Beattie to head wide under pressure from Owen Deakin Pickard.
Padiham finished the first half on top and in the final minutes before the break, Neil Stansfield’s shot deflected for a corner and Ben Allen’s shot saved by home kee[er Daniel MacDonald.
After the interval, Padiham always looked the better side, and went ahead on 56 minutes when Tinker weaved his way into the box before firing his shot past MacDonald.
The Storks nearly doubled their lead in their next attack when a Neil Stansfield cross was just headed wide by Ben Allen.
Blackpool’s best chance of the second half fell to Ben Waddington on 68 minutes after the pacy forward broke free, but couldn’t hit the back of the net with his shot, skimming the top of the crossbar.
Padiham had further chances before the end of the game, but suffered a setback deep into added on time when Garvin received a second yellow card to leave the Storks to see out the game with 10 men.
Padiham begin their FA Cup trail tomorrow with a home tie against fellow North West Counties Premier Division side Wigan Robin Park at the Arbories, kick-off 3 p.m.
In midweek, a young Padiham reserve side beat Old Blackburnians 3-0 in a friendly.
Padiham FC Ladies are looking for new players, and, in particular, a goalkeeper to strengthen their squad for the forthcoming season.
The team compete in the North West Women’s Regional League and all games are on Sunday afternoons.
Pre-season training has commenced so anyone interested should contact the manager Gary Mills on 07753762880.