PADIHAM continued to climb the Premier Division ladder with a well-deserved victory over Congleton Town at the Arbories on Saturday.
But the hosts had to withstand some early pressure from the visitors before taking the lead in the 16th minute when Paul Fildes scored from the penalty spot after the referee had spotted a handball.
Congleton’s Jamie Skellern had previously had a second minute shot deflected just past the upright and in the 14th minute Andrew Hurst forced a path in between Padiham’s defensive line and goalkeeper Sean Davis but could only head wide of the target.
The Storks opening goal however settled the home side down and Jordan Hulme had a couple of efforts that tested Town stopper Matthew Conkie while Davis was called in to action as play swung to the other end, saving from Julian Ward in the 26th minute.
Fildes for Padiham and Shane Reaney for Congleton had half chances to add to the scoreline before the interval but Fildes’ strike from the spot was all that separated the two teams at half-time.
The second half started with Padiham going close on two occasions after Lloyd Balazs headed an Ed O’Neill corner just wide within a minute of the restart and four minutes later Conkie had to be alert to tip Balazs’ dipping effort from long range over the bar.
The away side then had a goal disallowed for offside in the 52nd minute and before they had time to get over the upset of having a goal chalked off, the Storks added a second when captain Martin Parkes headed in a right-sided Stuart Telfer cross.
Padiham went close to adding a third when O’Neill had a shot saved in the 66th minute and a minute later Balazs had a goalbound header turned away for a corner. Davis kept Congleton at bay with a save from a deflected shot by Simon Robinson with eight minutes remaining before Fildes hit the Congleton post with seconds remaining before Paul Barrett saw his rebound well-saved by Conkie.
Padiham have no midweek fixture but are at home again on Saturday as they welcome Bootle to the Arbories with kick-off at 3 p.m.
Colne United 1, Padiham A 2
PADIHAM A advanced to the quarter-final stage of the East Lancashire President’s Cup competition with a win at local rivals Colne United in a game that saw two penalties and two sendings off.
Following a goalless first half Padiham took the lead in the 55th minute after Duane Knappett was brought down in the penalty box before picking himself up to convert the resulting spot kick.
The hosts soon levelled when they too were awarded a penalty five minutes later to make it 1-1. Both sides then had a player red-carded to reduce the game to 10-a-side but with 10 minutes remaining Paul Fishwick grabbed what proved to be the winning goal to send Padiham through to the last eight of the knockout.
Leyland Ladies 1, Padiham Ladies 3
PADIHAM FC Ladies were celebrating a championship success on Sunday as they picked up the club’s first silverware of the season after clinching the Lancashire FA County Women’s First Division title.
And the Storks had to come from a goal down just before the half hour mark against Leyland Ladies to record victory when, within seconds of the restart, Hannah Glendinning forced an equaliser.
Lizzie White gave the Storks the advantage five minutes before the interval to give Padiham a 2-1 half-time lead. But they had to be patient for the third that secured the win and the championship trophy when Justine Wallace struck in the final minute.
Padiham Ladies have one more game remaining this season away to Accrington Girls and Ladies on Sunday, April 17th.
Padiham U11s 5, Readstone United 3
PADIHAM’S youngsters led 3-0 at half-time before going on to beat Readstone United 5-3 in Sunday’s North Valley Youth League fixture.
Jason Woolford, man of the match Mason Hughes, Billy Grant, Lane O’Reilly and Declan McCluskey scored the goals.