IT was heartache for the Storks as two late goals denied them maximum points at Bootle on Saturday.
An excellent first half performance from Padiham saw them take a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Paul Fildes ran on to a Martin Parkes header to shoot past home side keeper Mark Maurdsley.
Lloyd Balazs almost doubled the Storks’ advantage just seven minutes later when his effort crashed against the crossbar.
Padiham dominated possession, but had a lucky escape just before half-time when Sean Davis tipped a Daniel O’Connor free-kick on to the woodwork, before William Jones blazed the rebound over when unmarked.
The visitors opened the second half with a Fildes shot across the face of goal, but as the half progressed Bootle started to get back into the game. O’Connor wasted a good chance for the hosts when firing over, Darren Byers had a good shot saved by Davis, and in the 65th minute Ronald Morgan lashed a set-piece across goal, though nodody was on hand to apply a touch.
However, in the 67th minute, against the run of play, Padiham made it 2-0 when a through ball from Stuart Telfer released Chris Ridehalgh, whose fierce drive hit the back of the net.
Davis saved bravely from Francis Woolvine in the 75th minute to preserve Padiham’s two-goal lead, and in the 82nd minute a last-ditch tackle by Tom Bradley kept out the home side once again.
It looked as though Padiham would return with all three points, but panic struck in the 87th minute when Bootle’s pressure paid off, as Byers headed in a near post corner.
Then three minutes into added on time, Bootle took full advantage of a well-worked free-kick routine to draw level when Anthony Miles scored with the last kick of the match.
Padiham are in action again tonight when they travel to Dark Lane to take on Rossendale United, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
Final Score: Bootle 2, Padiham 2
Padiham Reserves 2, Bootle Reserves 2
NORTH West Counties Reserve Division leaders Padiham were made to fight tooth and nail for a point against Bootle at the Arbories.
The visitors were the better side in the first half but couldn’t get their noses in front and at half-time it was 0-0.
Callum Little gave Padiham the lead in the 57th minute, but that advantage lasted just 12 minutes as Neil Murphy equalised.
Padiham substitute Ben Sutcliffe fired Padiham back in front with a long range effort in the 72nd minute, but again Bootle fought back two minutes later through Ross McDowell.
Padiham Reserves take on Barnoldswick Town Reserves at the Arbories tomorrow night, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
Padiham A 0, Borrowdale United 0
DIFFICULT playing conditions at Fennyfold thwarted both side’s attempts to play any flowing football, and the 0-0 scoreline summed up an East Lancashire Football League fixture to forget.
Rochdale Ladies 1, Padiham Ladies 1
PADIHAM Ladies picked up an important point away to title rivals Rochdale Ladies.
The hosts went ahead in the 67th minute but four minutes later Justine Wallace levelled for the Storks to maintain their lead.