Two goals from new signing James Dean couldn’t prevent a fourth-successive defeat for Padiham, as they went down 4-2 at home to Ashton Athletic at the YESSS Electrical Arena at the Arbories on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 161.
Dean, who joined from Evo-Stik Premier Division side Warrington Town – who he joined from Conference North Chorley in May – struck after only three minutes on his debut, heading home
And he added a second after 56 minutes, although by that stage Ashton had taken a 3-1 lead.
Isaac Kusaloka equalised five minutes from half-time after a defensive mistake, and seven minutes after the restart Kusaloka added a second from close range.
Joel Brownhill netted two minutes later, heading in a corner, before Dean pulled one back with a fine header.
A 73rd-minute own goal sealed the win for the visitors.
Dean’s signing is a big plus for the Storks, however.
The 30-year-old striker scored 60 goals in 130 appearances for Chorley, and the 6ft 3ins frontman knows his way around the higher levels of non-league, counting Bury, Altrincham, Harrogate Town, AFC Halifax and Stalybridge Celtic among his former clubs.
Dean will help arrest a disappointing run of form, which has seen Padiham go from early leaders in the Hallmark Security NWCFL Premier Division, to 14th place.
Kenny Taylor also featured for Padiham after returning from Colne.
The Storks’ game at Maine Road tomorrow is off as the Manchester side are in the FA Cup at Burscough.