Padiham suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Ashton Athletic at a cold Brocstedes Park Ground on Tuesday night, conceding three goals in the last 10 minutes.
That cancelled out and then overhauled James Dean’s 62nd-minute strike, which had given the Storks a 1-0 lead.
In reality, Padiham were second best to a lively home side that dominated the first half, only to find Storks keeper Michael Donlon in top form to keep out early efforts from Marcus Cusani, Joel Brownhill and Daniel Regan.
And they were thankful that good openings were wasted by Lee Vaughan and Jacub Jones, while at the other end Padiham’s only effort of note needed a save by Ashton keeper Martin Pearson in the the last few seconds of added on time, from Chris Turner’s curling free kick.
After the break, Donlon was in action again to save a 50th-minute Regan shot with his legs.
However, as sometimes happens in football, Padiham scored against the run of play when Conor Docherty’s through ball split the home defence, and Dean beat Pearson with an angled shot to put the Storks one up on the hour.
On 69 minutes, Donlon kept out an effort from Cusani, but then turned villain 10 minutes later when he up ended an Ashton player in on goal to give away a penalty, which substitute Daniel Smith converted to level the scoreline.
Four minutes later a defensive error let in Cusani to put the home side in front at 2-1, and with two minutes of normal time remaining, a break and chipped shot over Donlon by Brownhill added insult to injury, making the final score 3-1 to Ashton.
Padiham are at home to 1874 Northwich on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m. at the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground.