Padiham failed to build on their midweek 3-3 draw at Lancaster City when they were beaten 3-1 at home by fellow Northern Premier League strugglers Burscough on Saturday.
Early pressure from the visitors needed Storks keeper Sean Davis to make saves from Jordan Williams and Michael Monaghan, but he had to watch in relief as Nick Ryan headed just wide from a corner.
At the other end of the pitch, the Storks’ first real attempt on goal did’t arrive until the 20-minute mark when Brett Ormerod headed a Robbie Bromley free kick inches off target.
Mark Sharples then went even closer two minutes later after his shot was turned onto the post by visiting keeper Dean Pye, berfore fortunately rebounding back into the Burscough keeper’s arms.
The home side then found themselves on the wrong end of the worst refereeing decision seen at the Arbories for some time, when the match official awarded a penalty for hand ball against Tom Murphy when the ball clearly struck his thigh, a decision the referee Michael Bennett apologised for after the game.
However, at the time it allowed Burscough captain Paul William to score from the spot kick with a strike that found the back of the Padiham net via both posts.
Padiham hit back with a Robbie Bromley shot that Pye tipped round the post, and a shot from new signing Jason Hart which smashed against the angle of upright and crossbar, leaving Burscough’s 1-0 lup at half-time.
Padiham then got off to the worst possible start to the second half when their inability to defend dead balls was again in evidence as Anthony Brown headed in from a corner within a minute of the kick-off.
Hart went close for Padiham at one end, and Brown gave Padiham a scare at the other before Burscough made it 3-0 on the hour mark after the visitors broke quickly from a Padiham corner and James Williiams ended a long run with a shot past Davis,
Padiham reduced the deficit on 74 minutes when Ormerod scored from the penalty spot, but could never get the momentum going that was needed to repeat Wednesday nights fight back.
Padiham travel to Holker tomorrow night in the LFA Challenge Trophy competition, kick-off at 8.00 p.m.