Padiham continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-2 draw at the Silent Night Stadium against a determined Barnoldswick Town side on Tuesday night.
A crowd of nearly 200 were treated to a pulsating game in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division, with the Storks returning home from the derby match disappointed not to have come away with all three points.
The visitors carved out the first real opportunity of the match when a left wing shot from Joe Garvin forced home goalkeeper Marko Marosi to be at his best to tip the effort over his own bar.
Barlick came straight back at the away side, and after Stewart Airdrie crashed a shot against the Padiham woodwork in the 26th minute, the pressure became too much, and a corner to the near post was met by Billy Priestley to put the hosts in front.
This sparked the Storks back into life, and Ben Allen went close when he flashed a header against the outside of the Barnoldswick upright on 35 minutes, before Andrew Tinker and Garvin both drew good saves from Marosi in the run up to the interval.
Padiham had goalkeeper Mark Crossley to thank for keeping the score at 1-0 when he saved well from a Lewis Jordan effort just after the restart, before the away side started to take control of the fixture.
Some good work down the wing saw a dangerous ball in from Allen fly straight across the face of the home side’s goal on 55 minutes, signalling Padihams intent, and three minutes later they drew level.
Dead ball specialist Garvin stepped up to the plate and made Barnoldswick pay for a bad foul by Ashley Alderson, when he curled in a delightful free-kick to make it 1-1.
The game was turned fully on its head minutes later, when Martin Broderick delivered a cross into the box that Allen powerfully headed home, leaving Marosi no chance, and it could have easily become 3-1 with a flurry of chances for Padiham.
Tinker tried his luck from long-range on 69 minutes before Marosi made a top class save to deny Allen a second headed goal, with a close-range miss by Martin Parkes providing Barnoldswick with a big let off.
This came back to haunt Padiham five minutes later when Arron Hollindrake headed home a left wing cross to make it 2-2.
The lively Garvin nearly won it for Padiham in injury time, when he went within inches of giving the Storks all three points with a well-hit free kick that curled narrowly wide, leaving both sides to share the spoils.
Padiham are in FA Cup action on Saturday when they take on Evo-Stik side Burscough at the Arbories, kick-off 3 p.m.
Final Score: Barnoldswick Town 2, Padiham 2