PADIHAM missed out on a dream opportunity to play at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium after losing their Lancashire FA Co-Operative Challenge Trophy semi-final tie against Bacup Borough on Wednesday night.
In a scrappy, wind-affected game at the County Ground in Leyland, Bacup’s robust approach to the contest paid dividends as they prevented Steve Wilkes’s side from getting the ball down and playing, frustrating the club’s travelling support in the process.
Goalless at the interval, the second half didn’t start well for the Storks as, in the 53rd minute, a foul by Kieran Fletcher resulted in a penalty which Daniel Cocks converted to give Bacup a 1-0 lead.
The Storks had a great chance to equalise on the hour mark when a ball in from the left by Andrew Tinker found Ben Allen at the back post, but his shot was superbly saved by John Ogden.
Borough took full advantage of that let-off and doubled their lead in the 64th minute when Cocks finished off a great run from midfield to put Brent Peters’ men well in to the ascendancy.
However, with 10 minutes remaining Padiham gave themselves a lifeline when Kieran Pickup turned in Joe Garvin’s centre to reduce the deficit.
A grandstand finish from the Storks almost forced a leveller, but Neil Stansfield wasted a golden opportunity when scooping an effort wide with time and space on his side at the back post, as Bacup marched through to the final.
The Storks return to NWC Premier Division action tomorrow when they take on Norton United at the Arbories, kick-off 3 p.m.