Storks boss Steve Wilkes conceded that his managerial career ebbed to its lowest point at the weekend.
Padiham were seconds away from moving level with New Mills in the Evo-Stik First Division North as Brett Ormerod’s goal provided the advantage against Burscough at Victoria Park.
However, disaster struck deep in to stoppage time when substitute Tom Murphy flicked past his own goalkeeper Sean Davis to level the fixture.
“I’ve never felt as low in my managerial career after a game,” claimed Wilkes. “I really felt for the players because they’d worked so hard and they didn’t get the reward that they deserved.”
Padiham’s season has been dampened by injury and misfortune to date but when it rains, it pours.
Skipper Martin Parkes was sidelined for the clash against the Linnets, Bobby Langford was also unavailable for selection, Chris Turner was suspended while Dean Overson had left the club by mutual consent midweek.
Forward Curtis Haley was then withdrawn at the interval having picked up a knock, and full back John Ross pulled his hamstring when warming up ahead of the second half.
Meanwhile debutant Chappy Mussamber, who scored a 17-minute hat-trick for the reserves against Nelson recently, limped off as the game drew to a close.
“As a manager I couldn’t have asked any more of my players,” said Wilkes. “We were down to the bare bones so I was very pleased with the efforts. Injuries forced a change in system on several occasions which made it tough.
“I dropped to the floor when they equalised and put my head in my hands. I was in a daze.
“I praised the players in the dressing room after the game but it was a massive two points dropped because a win would’ve moved us level on points with New Mills.”
Wilkes added: “They play another three times before we face Salford so we’d be as good as relegated if they were to win all those. The two teams above us got beat at the weekend so Burscough’s last minute goal was a massive kick in the teeth.”
While relegation rivals New Mills entertain Brighouse Town tomorrow and Prescot Cables travel to face Salford City, the Storks have a break before hosting Anthony Johnson’s and Bernard Morley’s Ammies on February 28th.
“The break has come at a very good time for us,” declared Wilkes. “We’ve got a 10-day recovery period now to bring our injured players back.”
Asked about Frenchman Massamber, the Arbories boss added: “He scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes for the reserves so he’s definitely got something. He’s finally free to play after getting international clearance so we’ll see.”