Padiham go into the new North West Counties Premier Division in good heart after an impressive performance at Northern Premier League First Division North neighbours Colne on Saturday.
Adam Morning and Michael Morrison’s well-drilled Storks held the Reds 1-1 at the Sovereign Play Stadium, but the hosts emerged as victors in the Pendleside Hospice Cup after a penalty shootout, following a close-fought end-to-end game.
Padiham took the lead after only two minutes when Danny Taylor finished an attack on the right wing with a low diagonal shot into the far corner of the net.
Colne looked for a quick reply, but Connor Hughes pulled his shot wide from a good chance in front of goal.
In an open, entertaining game, Colne looked to build attacks through midfield, while Padiham looked dangerous with quick counterattacks.
Danny Boyle provided chances with through balls for Sefton Gonzales and Lee Pugh, but on both occasions the Padiham defence was quick to block the final shot in their goal area.
At the other end, Hakan Burton made a fine instinctive save to keep out Ben McNamara’s deflected shot, and Padiham came close when Chris Lynch headed inches wide at the far post from a corner.
A good move by Colne after 36 minutes saw Marcus Poscha release Billy Hasler-Cregg, and his cross found Gonzales in front of goal, but the Reds striker headed wide.
On the stroke of half-time, Gonzales looked to be about to make amends after a strong run into the area, but Padiham keeper Matt Holmes saved the striker’s shot with his feet.
Early in the second half, Holmes again denied Colne when he kept out Aiden Chippendale’s free kick with a fingertip save.
But Padiham threatened a second goal, and Burton cleared the ball off the toes of James Dean, before a shot by Danny Smith whistled just wide.
And the Reds had a let-off on the hour when Dean shot wide of an empty net with Burton stranded.
After 79 minutes, Colne levelled the scores when Chippendale burst into the area and his shot was blocked by Holmes, but Max Hazeldine headed the loose ball back across the goalmouth and Chippendale side-footed home from close range.
Colne pressed forward, but Padiham held out, and the game went to penalties, with the Reds winning 4-3.
Padiham kick-off tomorrow at 1874 Northwich, before a trip to Avro on Wednesday.