Another late goal condemned Padiham to a 3-2 defeat against Mossley at the Arbories, though it was the Storks’ own profligacy that cost them in their Northern Premier League First Division North fixture.
It was all smiles at the start of the game however, with the hosts taking a fourth minute lead when Ashley Carter latched on to a through ball, rounded Russ Saunders and ran the ball in to the unguarded net.
But six minutes later the smiles were all gone when Bury FC loanee Tom Pratt raced through the heart of the Storks defence before firing past Padiham keeper Ben Proctor unchallenged to make it 1-1.
Steve Wilkes’s side restored their lead in the 37th minute when a well-rehearsed set-piece routine paid dividends as Louis Mayers curled his shot past a static Saunders to give Padiham a 2-1 advantage at the interval.
The home side dominated the start of the second half with Saunders tipping Ben Allen’s effort on to the crossbar before Martin Parkes smashed the rebound wide from three yards out.
Saunders was in fine form for the visitors and the Mossley stopper made another really brave save when diving at the feet of Dominic Craig who had found space inside the area.
Then, at the other end, the inevitable happened when in the 66th minute a left-sided corner found Mossley’s Luke McCarthy unmarked on the edge of the box and his shot crashed in to the Padiham net.
The hosts responded, taking the game to Mossley, and when Kieron Pickup darted towards goal the home supporters had prematurely risen to cheer the ball hitting the back of the net, but once again the opportunity went begging as the shot flashed high and wide.
And that moment proved pivotal when with less than five minutes remaining a quick break from the visitors allowed Andy Keogh to steal all three points for the visitors with another late goal.
The Lilywhites were reduced to 10 men with seconds remaining after Pratt picked up his second booking of the game, but the goal scorer’s dismissal didn’t have an impact on proceedings so late.
Elsewhere, Padiham Under 18s consolidated their lead at the top of the East Lancashire Alliance Youth League with a 2-1 win over Haslingden at the Arbories on Sunday.
Liam Cole and Ben Beardsell struck in the first half to ensure victory for the Storks.
Padiham FC Ladies secured a spot in the semi-final of the Lancashire FA Women’s Trophy and the bragging rights after beating rivals Burnley FC Ladies 3-1.
Justine Wallace grabbed a brace in the tie for the Storks while Charlotte Holden was also on target at Barden Lane to send their higher league opposition crashing out of the competition.
Padiham FC are scheduled to take on Ramsbottom United tonight at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium in the second round of the Lancashire FA Trophy, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
The Storks will then return to league action on Saturday when they entertain New Mills at the Arbories with kick-off at 3 p.m.