PADIHAM had to overcome a series of obstacles on their way to picking up a point at St Helens Town on Saturday.
The day started with an accident on the M6 which prevented half the Storks team from getting to the Edge Green Street stadium until just before kick-off, but things got even worse 13 minutes in to the game when goalkeeper Sean Davis was sent off.
However, before his dismissal the Padiham keeper made one important save to stop Liam Johnson from opening the scoring when the striker was through on goal.
But Davis saw red moments later.
After making a save from Ian Frazer the ball was cleared away for a corner.
From the set-piece, Davis felt he had been fouled, and after St Helens’ Andrew Laycock almost scored from the loose ball, the Padiham keeper made his feelings known to the referee, who in turn made his feelings known by pulling out the red card.
Down to 10 men and with full-back Paul Walker volunteering his services as stand-in keeper, the Storks had an uphill battle ahead of them.
They could, however, have taken the lead just before half-time when Michael Morrison was played in on goal but somehow failed to convert the opening.
After the break Padiham brought on Lee Morris for the injured Jordan Hulme, but in the 55th minute the hosts made full use of their extra man advantage when Stephen O’Brien got on the end of some scrappy play in the Padiham box to make it 1-0.
Padiham drew level on 70 minutes when Chris Ridehalgh played in Morris, who took the opportunity calmly to fire past St Helens’ keeper Nicholas Jackson to level matters.
Storks’ acting keeper Walker then saved well to keep his side in the game as he denied O’Brien from long range, before play switched to the other end and Morris tested Jackson with a shot on the turn.
Walker was the hero again, saving a point blank effort from Scott Baker, and the visitors survived another scare as the clock crept towards the 90-minute mark as O’Brien fired across the face of goal.
Padiham are in action again on Tuesday night when they travel to Holt House to take on local rivals Colne with kick-off at 7-45 p.m.
Elsewhere, Padiham Reserves left it late to beat Silsden Reserves 3-2 at the Arbories on Saturday in the NWC Reserve Division.
The home side led after 34 minutes when Curtis Gallagher got on the score sheet but goals from Silsden’s Declan Corby in the 39th minute and Josh Eastwood just four minutes later gave the visitors a 2-1 lead at half-time.
Padiham got a foothold back in the game when Michael Taylor converted a 50th minute penalty and the Storks grabbed all three points when central defender Danny Fagan powered in a header from a corner with seven minutes of the game remaining.
• Following their promotion to the North West Regional Womens League- Padiham Ladies are looking for players in all positions including goalkeeper.. In addition to these, anyone who may be interested in sponsorship for the forthcoming season is asked to contact the manager Gary Mills on 07753 762880.