A first win in 126 days was one massive step for joint boss Adam Morning, but it was one giant leap for Padiham Football Club.
The Storks had gone 14 games without a win in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division and had plummeted towards the relegation zone as a consequence.
Victory over rivals Hanley Town at Potteries Park proved to be the club’s ‘moon landing’ moment as they triumphed for the first time under their new management team to claw their way out of trouble.
If Morning played the role of Neil Armstrong in Stoke-on-Trent, and Michael Morrison portrayed Buzz Aldrin, then goalscorer Ellis Hancox was the Apollo spacecraft that rocketed his two pilots to glory.
The defender’s 90th-minute header ensured his side are now five points clear of West Didsbury and Chorlton with two games in hand.
“We didn’t want to wait that long for the win to come,” said Morning.
“I think one of the lads said we’d gone 126 days without a win.
“At that point you start to question whether it’s going to come.
“I think that pressure translates on to the pitch but now we’ve won and that’s all that matters.
“That is one massive step towards our target of staying up this season.
“It was massive for us, it’s a huge relief and we were desperate for it.
“It’s a big step because we’ve been challenged with keeping the club up and now I think a couple more wins will do it.
“It’s definitely the best moment in management so far.
“That result gives us something to build on now.
“That will give us confidence, hopefully it will help us turn a corner, but we’ve still got a lot more to do.”
Padiham will look to strengthen their position in the table even further when they travel to the Cobbydale Construction Stadium to take on Silsden tomorrow.
And Morning is confident going into the fixture. “We’ve kept three clean sheets in our last four games.
“That’s massive at any level, whether it be Sunday League, Non League or the Premier League.
“We’re showing good signs. It eases some of the tension we’ve been experiencing which will give the club a big lift.”
“All successful teams have a close group of players.
“That’s what we’re trying to build. It means a lot to them, it was nice to see, and that makes the job worthwhile.”