Joint Padiham boss Adam Morning’s prayers have been answered
Adam Morning had been waiting for the football Gods to answer his prayers - and they delivered as Padiham were the biggest winners of the Macron Cup first round.
The Storks had only netted five times in their last nine outings in all competitions, but they put nine past St Martins in 90 minutes at the Ruby Civil Arena.
The visitors had managed to pull themselves back into the tie just before the half hour only for striker Luke Noble to score four times in the second half and condemn the North West Counties League Division One South side to a humiliating 9-1 defeat.
The result inflicted a 12th loss in succession for the Saints, who had won their opening three fixtures of the campaign.
But this was by far the heaviest. Chris Lynch opened the scoring with a header midway through the first half while Dom Craig doubled the advantage in the 28th minute.
Padiham goalkeeper Tom Scott had made a number of good saves to preserve his side’s cushion, but he couldn’t do anything to keep out a William Wells header as the striker rounded off a swift move to convert Harrison Millington’s deep cross.
The optimism was short-lived, however, when Craig scored his second and Padiham’s third goal inside 45 minutes to regain his team’s two goal lead on the stroke of half-time.
The Saints switched goalkeepers at the break, with Jack Perry replacing George Austin, and within five minutes of the restart the substitute had already shipped a couple of goals.
Former Runcorn Linnets forward Noble, who has represented the Army FA, scored his first of the afternoon within 60 seconds of kick off and Harry Pratt made it 5-1 in the 50th minute.
The visitors then lost centre back James Durman to injury and the defender’s absence cause disarray at the back for St Martins.
Padiham revelled in their superiority and Noble had his hat-trick wrapped up in the 75th minute, having also netted just before the hour, while Sam Harding got in on the act with three minutes remaining.
Noble completed the rout with the last kick of the game to set up a second round tie against Rylands at the Recreation Club on November 9th.