PADIHAM drew a blank for the second time in four days at the weekend going down 1-0 at the Arbories to Staffordshire side Stone Dominoes.
But the visitors had keeper Barry Weston to thank for keeping a clean sheet, especially in the first half as his saves, combined with a feast of squandered opportunities, prevented the Storks from having a healthy lead at the interval.
Instead a break away goal by Shane Reaney in the 38th minute for Dominoes ultimately decided the game.
Before that Padiham had been dominant, though Nathan Southern did force two efforts for the away side as he fired wide in the 19th minute before testing Storks keeper Sean Davis just shy of the half hour mark.
For Padiham it was a case of what could have been. Andrew Sensale provided some sort of indication as to the misfortune that was ahead when he fired straight at Stone keeper Barry Weston when well placed. Then, moments later, when Weston was beaten, a superb last ditch tackle prevented Lee Morris tucking the ball home (pictured).
Sensale and Barry Shuttleworth both sent efforts wide of the target and Morris was denied again this time by the fingertips of Weston who was relieved to see the effort cannon on to the post.
It was slowly turning in to the Weston show and the keeper came out on top once more with a fine reflex save to send Shaun Carey’s cheeky back-heeled effort from a corner over the crossbar. Manager Shaun Hollinshead watched on in delight as his keeper then denied Stuart Telfer before preventing Morris again in a one-on-one situation.
As is the case when a team doesn’t convert its chances, the visitors took their opportunity before the break. John Buckley failed to cut out a through ball which gifted Reaney the chance to race on to the loose ball, round a stranded Davis and slam the ball in to an empty net to make it 1-0.
Encouraged by their lead Stone proved more adventurous after half-time and it needed two good saves from Davis to prevent the away side from increasing their lead as he denied respective efforts from Reaney and Andrew Matthews.
Morris missed another golden opportunity for the hosts when he found the arms of Weston following a good passage of play from the Storks. Martin Parkes headed a Shuttleworth cross just wide in the 67th minute and, as desperation began to show, Martin Broderick and Ed O’Neill both blazed over the bar.
Padiham’s best chance of an equaliser fell to Damien Morrison in the 80th minute but, sticking to the pattern of the game, Weston was the hero with a sensational save to maintain his side’s lead.
Padiham travel to Ramsbottom United tonight, desperate to find their goal-scoring form again. The game kicks off at 7-45 p.m.
Elsewhere, Padiham’s youngsters proved they are capable of holding their own in the East Lancashire Football League with a 3-2 away win over Barrowford Celtic.
After going behind from the penalty spot, the Storks drew level on the half hour mark when Shane Holding took charge in a goal mouth scramble to poke home the equaliser.
However, poor defending allowed Barrowford to regain their lead five minutes later, but on the stroke of half-time they were reduced to 10 men which gave Padiham the advantage for the second half.
Substitute Patrick Mortimer put Padiham on level terms for the second time midway through the second half and after sustained pressure the Storks scored the winning goal three minutes from time when good approach play by Daryl Holden resulted in his cut back being slammed in to the net by Holding.
Meanwhile, Padiham FC’s youth team ensured they remained in second spot in the East Lancashire Alliance Youth League with a 2-0 win over Old Blackburnians.
Zack Dale put the Storks 1-0 up after 35 minutes when he rounded the home side’s keeper and then Padiham doubled their lead in the 68th minute courtesy of an Andy Hill twice taken penalty kick.
Padiham U12s went down to a narrow defeat at league leader’s Huncoat United Allstars. Mason Hughes and Liam Simm scored for the Storks in the 3-2 defeat while Billy Grant was awarded man of the match.
And in a scrappy North West Women’s Regional League fixture at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday Padiham Ladies notched up a 2-0 win over Leigh RMI Ladies.
Justine Wallace put the Storks ahead just before half-time and the points were secured when Chantelle Brennan added a second for Padiham 20 minutes from time.
Padiham Ladies are next in action on Sunday when Warrington Town Ladies are the visitors to the Thomas Whitham College ground in Barden Lane with kick-off at 2 p.m.