AFC Liverpool 1-3 Padiham

AFC Liverpool did more than walk through the wind and the rain as Storm Brian arrived just in time for this fixture at the Marine Travel Arena.
Padiham had the early pressure as Jake Hargreaves fired past Dom Garner’s post in the sixth minute, followed by a  cross being taken by the wind and rattling the crossbar a minute later.  The Reds soon grew into the game and enjoyed large spells of possesion, with Joe Whittington and Kevin Edgar linking up well, but a final ball eluded them. Edgar did put the ball in the net on 28 minutes, but it had clearly made contact with his outstretched arm, so no goal was given.
The Reds were passing the ball more clinically  than their opponents, but occasionally Padiham showed more willingness to shoot  from distance, and Garner made a superb save from a Daniel Boyle strike just after the half hour mark.
The Storks were guilty of taking one pass too many just before half time as a golden chance went begging which saw the ball roll behind an unmarked Spencer Jordan, and the teams went into the dressing rooms all square at 0-0.
AFC Liverpool came out after the break as the more lively of the two teams, with two half-chances on goal in as many minutes. Edgar’s blocked shot spun across the six yard line, with no players following up to make the attempt on goal. A quickly-taken free kick from Adam Weston on 53 minutes also rattled the Padiham crossbar.
In the 61st minute, somewhat against the run of play, the visitors took the lead, with Ben Hoskin getting the final shot with his left foot, following a goalmouth scramble. The Reds immediately responded with sustained pressure at the other end. Edgar was put through on goal with a perfectly weighted through ball, but a tackle from behind toe-poked the ball back to Dane Smith in the Padiham goal. Shouts for a back pass were immediately silenced as the linesman had controversially raised his flag against the Reds striker.
Despite the worsening conditions, the Reds continued to push forward and got a deserved equaliser through substitute Danny Boden who stabbed at the ball with an outstretched foot, to beat Smith at the near post on 76 minutes.
With ten minutes left, the Reds were in the ascendancy, and warranted at least a point, but it wasn’t to last, as a Padiham ball picked out Hargreaves on the left wing and with a burst of pace beat his marker. A deft cutback inside the area gave him space to shoot, and he curled the ball past Garner to restore the visitors lead on 82 minutes.
Chris Stammers’ side went back on the attack again, forcing corners and delivering some dangerous crosses, but none could be converted. Substitute Jamie Heron saw a late shot blocked and brought away by a blue shirt. The resulting break and a clever crossfield ball undid the Reds defence once again, and Hargreaves got their third goal, heading the ball into the ground to bounce over the outstretched palm of Garner.
The score remained 1-3 at the final whistle to cap a frustrating afternoon for AFC. Their overall performance had plenty of positives, but the habit of conceding goals in the latter stages has to be broken in order to end their barren spell.
AFC Liverpool 1-3 Padiham
Boden 76                       Hoskin 61
.                                       Hargreaves 82, 90
AFC Liverpool: 1.Dominic Garner 2.Deklan Hill 3.Christopher Anderson 4.Adam Weston 5.John Holmes 6. Lee McConchie 7.Michael Boyle (C) (15. Jamie Heron) 8.Calum Woods (16. Conor Smith) 9.Kevin Edgar 10.Joseph Whittington (Danny Boden) 11.James Howell
Subs Not Used: 12. Oscar Billington 13.Jack Cookson
Padiham: 1.Dane Smith 2.Kenneth Taylor 3.Benjamin Hoskin 4.Chistopher Turner 5.Luke Holden (12. Kane Hilkman) 6.Brandon Barski 7.Dominic Craig 8 Christopher Anderson 9.Spencer Jordan 10.Daniel Boyle 11.Jake Hargreaves
Subs Not Used: 14 Cameron Lancaster 15. Billy Poole
Att: 128
Photo Courtesy of Dave Williams
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