PADIHAM have all but been relegated after losing their must win game against fellow Evo-Stik League First Division North strugglers New Mills at the Arbories.

While mathematically the Storks can still stay up, it would take an incredible escape rather than a great escape to avoid the drop back in to the North West Counties League after two seasons in the Evo-Stik League.


With just six games remaining, Padiham have been cut a drift at the bottom of the table, 10 points behind Prescot Cable and now seven behind New Mills.

The basement battle clash was ultimately decided after only three minutes when New Mills took advantage of a poor defensive clearance by Tom Fowler to break down the left and while Daniel Forde’s first effort was saved by Storks keeper Sean Davies, he was on hand to turn in the loose ball.

The Storks battled valiantly to get back in the game but missed opportunities proved costly - although they were lucky not to concede a second just before the break.

Padiham took the fight to their visitors but failed to convert chances that came their way, Bobby Langford headed wide a great chance at the back post, Danny Wilkin saw another effort deflected while before Langford was denied by the width of the crossbar after heading a fine Brett Ormerod cross against the New Mills woodwork.

Andrew Hill also headed over from a corner but Padiham were lucky to see Lee O’Brien’s well struck free kick come back off the crossbar.

After the break, Padiham gave it a real go to get back in the game but again they failed to take their chances.

Ormerod headed a good chance wide and when Langford shot across the face of the goal, it was never going to be Padiham’s day.

Clitheroe slipped to a 2-0 defeat at play-off chasing Farsley AFC after conceding two goals in six minutes midway through the second half.

Clitheroe had the better of the first half as they shaded the early pressure.

Louis Mayers forced a fine save out of the home keeper with a well struck free kick in the 15th minute - it proved to be the closest either side got to scoring in the first half.

But the deadlock was broken just past the hour mark when Farlsey were awarded a controversial penalty which was dispatched by Lewis Nightingale.

And that lead was doubled six minutes later when Andrew Welsh scored with a well taken finish.

The defeat, a 14th of the season, leaves Clitheroe in 13th place in the table.