Padiham 2, Lancaster City 0

Ben Allen gets the flick on.
Ben Allen gets the flick on.

PADIHAM reached the quarter-finals of the Lancashire FA Co-Operative Challenge Cup with a 2-0 win over Evo-Stik First Division North side Lancaster City at the Arbories on Wednesday night.

Having had plenty of possession in the early stages of the first half, the Storks were worthy of taking a 1-0 lead when Ben Allen converted an Andrew Tinker cross in the 17th minute.

The visitors went close to equalising when Gavin Clark’s shot on goal was tipped round the post by Sean Davis in the 25th minute and a minute later Andy Naylor headed over a right wing cross when he should have done better.

After the break Steve Wilkes’s side were much quicker to the ball than their lower league opponents and they continued to create a series of chances that kept keeper Daniel McDonald and his defensive colleagues busy.

McDonald kept Lancaster in the game with an exceptional save to thwart a Sam Morris screamer in the 51st minute and was in action again after the hour mark to save a near post effort from Allen.

Dave Sherlock blazed over following another opening but in the 72nd minute Padiham’s pressure finally paid off when Allen cushioned a right-sided free-kick in to the path of Neil Stansfield and his drilled cross was driven home by Tinker at the far post.

Sherlock almost added a third when latching on to Martin Broderick’s piercing pass with a quarter-of-an-hour of the tie remaining, but after rounding McDonald he shot wide from an acute angle.

And Sherlock continued to threaten as he shot wide a minute later, chipped a Stansfield pull back over the bar, rattled the bar, and saw an effort cleared off the line.

Tinker also went within inches of hitting the target when his curling attempt whistled past the post in the 82nd minute and only a last ditch defensive block deflected a Stansfield attempt over the bar. Lancaster substitute Mick Stringfellow came closest to pulling a goal back for the away side, but his shot on the turn cleared the upright.

Padiham return to league action tomorrow when they host Alsager Town at the Arbories, kick-off 3 p.m. Meanwhile Padiham Reserves travel to Glossop North End Reserves.