Padiham Reserves take centre stage with draw at the league leaders

Injury boost? Storks boss Steve Wilkes is hoping for good news from the treatment room
Injury boost? Storks boss Steve Wilkes is hoping for good news from the treatment room

With Padiham Football Club’s first team not in action at the weekend, the Storks’ reserve side was the focal point of activities over the weekend when they travelled to play the current Galaxy Football League West Division leaders FC United at the Nicholls Football Centre.

The fixture ended all square at 1-1, but the talking point once again was the fact that the league game took place on a 3G playing surface and not a grass pitch, and how this affected the game for both players and spectators.

An issue highlighted on 21 minutes when Padiham took the lead following a mix-up between United’s keeper Philip Pole and centre half Koenraad Hendricks, who, under pressure from Padiham’s Gareth Hill, headed a high, bouncing ball past his own keeper to put Padiham one ahead.

Hill went close to doubling Padiham’s lead on 77 minutes with a looping header against United’s crossbar, however, it was the home side that went on to score the next goal when, on 84 minutes, FC United substitute Tunde Owolabi headed in a right wing cross to equalise.

Padiham’s first team are back in action tomorrow night in the Doodson Sports Cup against Bamber Bridge at the Arbories Memorial Sports Grounds YESSS Electrical Arena, with kick-off at 7-45 p.m., before the Storks return to league action at Brighouse Town on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.

Boss Steve Wilkes was hoping for some good news on the injury front ahead of both games.

He is is currently without Tom Bradley, Lewis Jordan, Louis Mayers, Curtis Haley, John Ross, Sam Morris and Dominic Craig while Preston North End loanee Lyle Magolis has only just returned to training after being hospitalised after collapsing.

“We are trying to bring some new players in,” said Wilkes.

“It’s got to be done because we’re struggling.

“We’ll hopefully have three or four more players in for Bamber Bridge.

“The Doodson Cup certainly isn’t our priority - the league is much more important - but a win in any competition will help. It gives me the opportunity to look at a few players as well. The break has definitely come at the right time for us.

“Hopefully we’ll have players coming back to fitness for these games.”