Storks boss Steve Wilkes rued his side’s missed opportunities as Padiham conceded late on in a 1-1 draw with AFC Liverpool at the Arbories on Wednesday night.
The hosts led through Aaron Taylor’s eighth minute opener when the striker latched on to Seydou Bamba’s pass down the left hand side before rolling his marker, cutting in and applying a beautiful finish.
The home side commanded the game and should’ve extended their lead but they lacked a clinical edge in front of goal.
Leading scorer Kieron Pickup fired straight at goalkeeper Joshua O’Connell after being picked out by Dave Hankin.
The 18-goal forward, who has scored 15 of those in the league, then skewed an effort wide when drawing the keeper and ignoring Taylor to his left.
As the pressure mounted Taylor then fired a volley inches wide of the upright from Pickup’s delivery while Matt Cross clipped the post with a free kick from outside the penalty area.
The hosts were once again denied by the woodwork when Pickup struck the bar with an attempt from 20 yards out but the real kick in the teeth for the Storks arrived with just minutes remaining on the clock.
Pickup, who was only partially denied by O’Connell when one-on-one, was quickest to react to the loose ball and looked odds on to seal the points.
However, the striker drilled the ball against the knee of a recovering defender who had raced back to cover on the line.
That miss allowed the visitors to counter and they equalised through Connor Belger.
“Our keeper hasn’t had a save to make for 90 minutes,” said Wilkes. “We were comfortable throughout.
“I’m disappointed and upset that we didn’t win. I couldn’t get to sleep that night because I just kept picturing all our missed chances. It was two points dropped.”
Padiham are at Winsford United tomorrow, and Wilkes’ former club Darwen on Easter Monday.