A MINUTE’S silence was held prior to Padiham’s fixture against St Helens Town at the Arbories on Saturday in memory of manager Craig Chadwick’s father, David, who died suddenly last Wednesday.
The Storks boss hadn’t been expected to attend the NWC Premier Division clash but he did, and was on hand to watch his side gain their 10th point from five games with a 3-1 victory in glorious sunshine.
The home side opened brightly and almost broke the deadlock inside the first minute when a Martin Broderick corner almost crept in at the near post before being scrambled away by the visiting defence.
At the other end keeper Sean Davis, making his return from a lengthy absence through injury, had to be at his best to save with his feet to deny striker Andy Olsen before staying alert to thwart Chris Luby moments later.
But from that moment the remainder of the half belonged to Padiham.
John Blackley squandered a great opportunity to open the scoring in the 13th minute as he head a Broderick free-kick just over while Nathan Egan missed the target on two occasions, flashing an effort across the face of goal and pulling a shot wide after being threaded through by Sam Heap.
Ed O’Neill almost caught the visitors napping with a cross that nearly crept in at the back post, but he played a part in Padiham’s first goal.
His miscued chipped effort hit the post but rebounded in to the path of Heap who made no mistake from close range.
Egan was unlucky to have a goal disallowed for off-side on the half-hour mark but in the 38th minute Padiham did double their lead when a break by Egan resulted in his shot being parried in to the path of Heap by Chris Brinksman and once again the predatory striker fired home.
The Storks held on to that two-goal cushion at the interval.
The away side began the second half much better as Luby tested Davis early on and in the 55th minute Town halved the deficit when Luby profited from a mix-up between Davis and defender Martin Parkes to sweep the ball in to an empty net.
In a bid to restore that two-goal lead Blackley blazed over the bar after being found unmarked by Broderick’s centre and Egan fired weakly at Brinksman in a one-on-one situation.
The visitors almost levelled when James Gardner’s drive was superbly tipped on to the post by Davis and the Storks stopper was called in to action again as he saved from Daniel Clarke’s set-piece.
A series of Padiham substitutions led to the introduction of Martin Trickett and incredibly a goal with only his second touch.
Full back Marc Taylor’s break forced the opening and his pass to Trickett saw the sub take one touch to control the ball and a second to fire beyond Brinksman to give the Storks a 3-1 lead.
Padiham very nearly added a fourth just before the final whistle when Heap, determined to grab another goal to complete his hat-trick, charged down a Brinksman clearance only to see his effort whistle past the post.
The Storks have no midweek fixture but are involved in a local derby encounter with Colne FC on Saturday at the Arbories with kick-off at 3 p.m.
Elsewhere, Padiham Reserves thrashed Cheadle Town Reserves 6-1 at the weekend courtesy of a brace apiece for Joshua Cliff and Michael Taylor while Ben Hoskin and Joel Melia completed the scoring.
They travel to face AFC Darwen Reserves on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Padiham FC Under 18s won 3-0 away at Whinney Hill and the Under 12s side beat Whalley 4-1.
But Padiham Ladies lost their first league fixture for nearly two years when Penrith Ladies overturned the Storks 1-0 advantage in the North West Womens Regional League.
Padiham were unfortunate not to salvage anything from the game after hitting the woodwork three times.