PADIHAM had to play second fiddle to Squires Gate at the School Road Ground in the early stages of Tuesday night’s North West Counties fixture, which the Storks eventually lost 3-2.
Scott Harries looked lively right from the opening whistle and gave Padiham a warning of what was to come when he hit the Storks crossbar with an edge of the box shot after just eight minutes.
Louis Mayers then curled a free kick over the Padiham defensive wall, but couldn’t beat Josh Boothman.
On 19 minutes an angled pass over the top of Padiham’s defence released Harries who raced away to shoot past Boothman and put the home side 1-0 ahead.
Harries went close again on 24 minutes when a poor defensive clearance let in the Squires Gate goal scorer, but this time his shot went just wide of Padiham’s upright.
On the half-hour mark Padiham got a foothold back in the game when Nathan Egan tested Squires Gate goalkeeper Neil Beesley with a shot on the run.
Storks captain Martin Parkes headed just over from a corner before a long range shot from Damien Morrison needed Beesley to be quick off the mark to tip the effort over the crossbar.
Padiham’s pressure finally paid off on 37 minutes when a mazy run by Egan ended with him being brought down in the home side’s 18 yard box. Sam Heap dispatched the resultant spot kick, firing past Beesley with a shot that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar.
A quick Padiham throw in soon after the restart ended in Heap’s close range shot being turned away by Beesley.
Squires Gate had the last effort of the first half when captain Nigel Taylor fired in a free kick over Padiham’s crossbar.
The home side regained the lead on 58 minutes when Louis Mayers was allowed to run through the heart of the Storks midfield and let fly with a shot that beat Boothman to put Squires Gate 2-1 up.
This soon became 3-1 after the home side were awarded a rather dubious penalty. Louis Mayers converted the spot kick on 62 minutes leaving a frustrated Padiham team with an uphill task.
Sam Heap missed the chance to close the gap on 67 minutes when he hit a shot inches wide. While at the other end, Mayers just missed out on his hat-trick when he fired a shot against the outside of Padiham’s post.
Heap got free again on 80 minutes, but for a second time his shot flew the wrong side of the upright.
Padiham’s keeper saved a late effort from Isaac Kusaloka before Padiham’s Stuart Telfer broke free and lofted his shot over Squires Gate stopper Beesley to reduce the deficit to 3-2, minutes before full time.
Padiham 1st team are away at Stone Dominoes this Saturday with the team coach leaving from Nazareth Church on Church Street at 11-45 a.m.
Padiham Reserves are at home to Nelson Reserves in the ‘mini-derby,’ scheduled for the Arbories on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.
Padiham Ladies got back to winning ways on Sunday with an 8-2 away win over Springfield (Preston) in the North West Women’s Regional League Cup competition. This victory sets up a home tie against Bolton Wanderers Ladies in March.
This Sunday, weather permitting, Padiham Ladies travel to Blackpool Wren Rovers Ladies for a league fixture, kick-off 2 p.m.