Mixed bag for Storks during tricky Christmas period...

Padiham head into 2014 in good shape after solid start
Padiham head into 2014 in good shape after solid start

A Boxing Day classic was followed by a disappointing 3-0 defeat as Padiham endured a rollercoaster festive period.

The Storks were in scintillating form as they edged a five-goal thriller away to Clitheroe but could not find the same kind of performance just two days later when they visited Prescot Cables.

Padiham supporters turned up in their numbers at Shawbridge and were given the perfect start when Kieron Pickup buried a shot low past Clitheroe keeper Adam Reid after just five minutes.

The Storks doubled their lead on the cusp of half-time after a low hard cross by Ben Allen found Dean Overson unmarked at the back post who was able to turn the balls goalwards to make it 2-0.

The home side didn’t wait long to reduce the deficit as straight from kick off Clitheroe grabbed a goal through substitute Ross Dent to cut the Storks lead at half-time to 2-1.

Neither side created much after the interval until the 65th minute when a ball in from the left by Sam Morris found Louis Mayers free at the back post to nod in from close range and give Padiham back their two-goal cushion.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Clitheroe’s Danny Morton let fly with a 20-yard effort that Davis did well to turn away for a corner which in turn led to Clitheroe’s second goal when from the corner referee Simon Mather awarded the home side a penalty for a foul.

Lloyd Dean made no mistake from the spot kick and although the home side worked hard for an equaliser it was Padiham who came closest to scoring when Adam Reid the home side keeper had to get down well to turn a snap shot from Spencer Jordan round the post in the dying minutes of the game.

Just 48 hours later and the Storks were back in action away at Prescot Cables.

It was the visitors that had the better of the opening quarter of an hour and should really have gone ahead when on 11 minutes a ball over the top by Chris Turner released Kieron Pickup who could not beat Nick Culkin.

On 32 minutes a Phil Bannister speculative effort took a massive deflection off Padiham defender Max Jones before spinning out of control and into Padiham’s net.

The Storks found themselves two down at the start of the second half when some static defending allowed Phil Bannister to ghost his way into the Stork’s box unchallenged and shoot past Davis to make it 2-0.

Things got worse for Padiham on 70 minutes when substitute Tom Murphy’s poor clearance fell straight to Bannister who smashed the loose ball out of the reach of Davis to complete his hat-trick and give the home side a 3-0 win.

Padiham’s home game against Ramsbottom United on New Year’s Day was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. They next take on Salford City at the Arbories on Saturday, kick off 3pm.