MATCH REPORT | West 1-1 Padiham
Saturday 23rd March 2019, NWCFL Premier Division
West 1 (Howarth 24)
Padiham 1 (Burnett 62)
West were forced to settle for a point at home to Padiham after the visitors struck back in the second half.
Ramirez Howarth’s second West goal of the season capped an impressive first-half display, but the home size fizzled out after the break and Gary Burnett’s equaliser ensured the spoils were shared, an outcome that does West little good in their fight against relegation.
David Powell’s side started energetically as they looked to take advantage of one of four home games in the run-in. A smattering of early corners ensured that visiting keeper Ben Barnes was kept on his toes, but West struggled to create a clear opening.
West had to wait until the 24th minute before a real chance arrived, but it was an opportunity that gave them a valuable lead – Stephen Hall won the ball in the Padiham half before finding Howarth, whose whipped shot nestled in the far corner.
Padiham spluttered into life as half time approached but West took a deserved lead into the break and would have been confident of a first win since 19th January. However, the Storks had other ideas and pegged the home side back with an improved showing once play recommenced.
The West defence were given a warning seven minutes after the restart when the assistant’s flag ruled out a header, but there was to be no such intervention soon afterwards when Burnett cut in from the left and curled the ball over Will Jones.
A point suited the Storks much more than West but the home side laboured in an attempt to find a second goal – substitute Danny McLaughlin flicked a Will Dunne set-piece onto the far post and Howarth shot straight at Barnes when well-placed in injury time.
West did at least end a run of five straight defeats, but as they now lie three points adrift of Hanley Town with five games remaining, draws are quickly depreciating in value.
West: Jones, Tinker, Miranda, Bourne, Eckersley, Eiselt, Dunne, Gavin, Hall (McLaughlin 76), Shaw (Peach 69), Howarth. Not used: Horner, Henry, Meylan.