Storks impress in loss at higher league opponents

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Padiham impress in cup defeat at Radcliffe

The Storks went down 2-0 to Jon Macken’s Evo-Stik West Division side, as they missed out on a place in the quarter-finals.

Liam Smith and Dixon Lambert’s men enjoyed plenty of possession, but were unable to breach the Radcliffe rearguard.

The hosts scored after 10 minutes, and added the killer second eight minutes from time to advance.

The hosts had to thank former Clitheroe man Dimitri Tuanzebe – brother of Manchester United’s Axel – for making a key intervention after the Storks caught Callum Grogan and broke.

But on 10 minutes, a loose ball found Tunde Owolabi in space on the right, and he drilled the ball into the top corner from close range.

Padiham’s first chance of the game came from a looping header from Alan Zuqolli, which forced a good stop from Ollie Martin, and the ball was cleared after a goalmouth scramble.

Burnley’s Michael Fowler – on loan at Radcliffe after a similar spell at Padiham – had a good chance to double the hosts’ lead, sending a left-foot curler from the right just past the far post on the half-hour.

And there was a let off for the Storks just before the break as Prince Haywood fed an inviting free kick into the box, but Grogan, two yards out, guided his header wide.

Padiham stayed in the game after the break, though Radcliffe again went close as Owolabi sent a curler over from the left, which blazed over, after beating Adam Jones – who got more minutes under his belt after a tough time with injury.

The hosts wanted a penalty 20 minutes from time, for what they perceived was a push on Matthew Carr from a Haywood cross on 70 minutes, but referee Anthony Ball was unmoved.

Shortly after, another former Clitheroe man, George West, could have sealed victory for Radcliffe on the break, but fired a half-volley over with only keeper Tony Aghayere to beat.

However, the hosts progressed as they added a second eight minutes from time, as Owolabi came inside from the left, and pulled the ball back from the bye-line for Raul Correia to finish.

Padiham are back in North West Counties Premier Division action on Saturday, when they travel to Litherland Sports Park to face Litherland REMYCA, kick-off 3 p.m.

And on Tuesday night, the Storks are again on the road as they take on Irlam at the Ambitek Stadium.