Storks win battle of form sides in nine-goal thriller

The two in-form teams in the Hallmark Security NWCFL Premier Division met at the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground on Wednesday night, as Padiham and Abbey Hey produced a nine goal thriller which the Storks won 6-3 to close the gap on the league's leading teams.

The Storks went three up within nine minutes, with Aaron Taylor’s opener in less than 60 seconds beginning the goal rush.

James Dean’s shot on the turn four minutes later doubled Padiham’s lead, and on nine minutes, Mark Coyne found the back of the net following a ball in from Dean.

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The visitors were lively going forward, with Jonathan Hardy testing Padiham keeper Michael Donlon with a long range shot and George Noon reducing the deficit on 12 minutes.

Kieron Pickup could have made it 4-1 on 17 minutes but headed Coynes cross straight at keeper Elliot Wynne.

However the Storks only had to wait five minutes more to score again, as defender Marc Young got on the score sheet when he turned in an Alex Murphy free kick.

Dean hit his second in the run up to half-time, blasting a close range effort past Wynne to send the home side in at the break 5-1 up.

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Abbey Hey caught Padiham cold at the start of the condhalf when Nico Collins scored two minutes in, before a well-struck free-kick from Daniel Grimshaw arrowed into the top corner of the Padiham net on the hour to cut the home sides lead even further.

Dean just missing out on his hat-trick with a shot past the post and Chris Turner rounded off an excellent result with an injury time strike to make it 6-3.

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Padiham are at home again on Saturday against Winsford United.