West and Padiham finally met in the Lancashire Trophy at the third time of asking and served up an eight goal thriller under the Brookburn Road lights.
With Steve Settle ill, Head Coach Steve Brockley talk charge of the team and he was boosted by the returns of Nic Evangelinos and Rick Gleave into the starting line-up. Fans were made to wait a little longer as kick off was delayed until 8pm due to heavy traffic delaying the arrival of the visiting side with three players not arriving until 10 minutes before kick-off.
West started the stronger of the two sides and created a chance inside the first minute as Ben Steer’s throw found Anthony Potts at the near post but despite a scramble in the six yard box the West captain couldn’t force the ball home. Evangelinos injected himself into the game immediately cutting inside from the left hand side a minute later but dragged his shot just wide of the near post. On seven minutes West created again as a superb cross field pass found Evangelinos on the left whose cross was only parried by Padiham goalkeeper Michael Donlon into the path of Matty Kay who forced a good stop with the loose ball. Padiham’’s first chance came on 15 minutes as the ball was played across the edge of the area before a hard shot was drilled over the bar.
West continued to be very direct and a high ball into the box on 23 minutes found Gleave in the penalty area but his first time snap shot rolled just wide of the post. The best chance of the game to that point fell to Padiham on 39 minutes as a hard effort from the edge of the area almost snuck inside the bottom right hand corner but Dean Williams did well to divert it round the post.
It was West who broke the deadlock three minutes before the break as Matty Kay released Ash Woods with a superb through ball and the West striker barely broke stride as he fired a rocket inside the far corner with the keeper helpless. That same combination would work again on the stroke of half time. This time Kay chipped the ball over the top allowing Ash Woods to smash it home giving West a convincing 2-0 half time lead.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first had ended as, twice, Ben Steer broke down the right hand side firing his first effort at the keeper before squaring the second to Jordan Poole who saw his hard effort bravely cleared off the line.
The third goal came on 53 minutes as Evangelinos did superbly down the left before finding Ash Woods in the middle who completed his hat-trick with the finish inside the penalty area. His 17th goal of the season and his first hat-trick in West colours.
To their credit Padiham refused to give up and pulled a goal back three minutes later when a good move found Joseph Whittingham unmarked at the far post and he drilled his effort into the top corner from 10 yards out. It took a further two minutes for West to restore their two goal lead as birthday boy Steer played a superb ball into the box for substitute Saul Henderson who volleyed into the net beyond a helpless Donlon.
The game took another twist on the hour mark as Padiham again pulled a goal back as Aaron Taylor did well to convert from close range to make it 4-2. Two minutes later it was 4-3 as West conceded a free kick at the edge of the area allowing Gary Hunter to drill it into the bottom right hand corner.
The games major turning point came on 70 minutes as Padiham, pushing hard to draw level, were awarded a penalty for handball inside the box. Alex Murphy stepped up, placing his show low to his right but Williams guessed correctly saving to his left.
It was a major let off for West and they took full advantage on 78 minutes when Matty Kay was held back at the edge of the area Joe Shaw curled the free kick over the net and into the top corner to hand West a place in the quarter finals of the Lancashire Trophy.
West will return to a familiar ground as they travel to Radcliffe Borough in the next round on Tuesday 6th December, 7:45KO.