Steve Wilkes’s Storks became Squires Gate’s first victims of the season as Mark Buchan’s 81st minute strike proved decisive at the Arbories.
In a North West Counties Premier Division fixture with few chances, Gate’s Josh Kay had the best opportunity to break the deadlock in the second half when his effort cannoned back off the inside of the post.
The Storks then had their chance to claim the points when Paul Fildes beat visiting goalkeeper Ben Fletcher with a shot but defender Andrew Richards was in the right place at the right time to block on the line.
The goal came when Storks stopper Sean Davis spilled the ball after closing down Billy McKenna and Buchan was on hand to beat his marker before firing the ball in to the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Elsewhere, Padiham FC Reserves maintained their excellent start to the season in the Galaxy Lancashire Football League with a 3-2 home win over third placed Ashton Athletic on home soil.
Trailing to a 28th minute Sam Sheen goal, the Storks were back on level terms before half time thanks to a Nathan Egan equaliser on 40 minutes. Wayne Morrison put the home side in front on 70 minutes and three minutes later Corey Cook increased the Storks lead to 3-1.
Ashton pulled one back with three minutes left in the game through substitute Denham Guild and although it produced a bit of a nervy finish to the game, the final whistle and the 3-2 victory keeps Padiham in top spot.
And Padiham FC Under 16s Youth team made it through to the third round of the Lancashire FA Under 16s County Cup competition with a 1-0 home victory over Littleborough Under 16s. Brad Ditch scored the only goal of the tie.