Radcliffe's interest in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy is over after slipping to a 2-1 home defeat to NWCL Premier Division side Padiham, writes Kieran Wilson.

In the frosty conditions, Boro dominated possession in the early exchanges but other than a bit of skill from Abs Obasoto and a searching ball for the run of Jamie Morgan, there were no chances of note.

With 31 minutes on the clock, the Storks took the lead with their first shot of the match. After they had threatened to create from the left, the visitors instead switched the ball to Tyler James inside the 18-yard area, the forward struck the ball across goal and into the bottom corner to give his side a one-goal lead.

The advantage was doubled seven minutes later by Joel Melia, who dispatched into the bottom corner past Mateusz Hewelt. The goalkeeper unable to get across to his near post to keep the effort out, giving Padiham a two-goal cushion.

Michael Morrison’s men came forward early in the second half, as James broke forward but decided to square the ball which allowed Radcliffe bodies to get back and squander the good chance.

Boro put pressure on the Padiham goal several times in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but misplaced passes at key moments prevented shooting opportunities.

Anthony Dudley struck the woodwork in the 55th minute, Abs Obasoto skipped past two Padiham defenders before passing into the top goalscorer whose touch set up him to send a powerful shot towards goal, which beat the goalkeeper but ricocheted off the left post, rolling towards the corner flag instead of into the net.

The provider exited the field moments later, in place of Jake Thompson who brought new energy to the forward line, and the substitution was almost perfect seconds after entering the fray.

Oyibo burst into the box towards the byline before picking out the fresh legs of Thompson, his deft shot from less than two yards out was blocked by the body of Hamnett, seemingly winning his side a corner but the referee pointed for a goal kick.

Matt Sargent headed Radcliffe back into the game with 20 minutes left to play, reducing the deficit by nodding Gareth Evans’ free kick into the side netting beyond the reach of the ‘keeper, the skipper for the night immediately picked up the ball and brought new life to Radcliffe who had hope they could claw the game back.

The hosts were almost level through Anthony Dudley as space opened up inside the 18-yard area, his powerful effort was well saved by the Padiham ‘keeper and Jamie Morgan almost headed home the rebound, but Hamnett was up to save the second chance.

Another substitution saw Scott Duxbury replace Matt Sargent late on with a last roll of the dice, one of his first touches of the ball was a flicked header from Evans’ corner that cannoned off the crossbar, another rued chance that went agonisingly astray.

With five additional minutes at the end of the 90, Radcliffe couldn’t find an equaliser despite taking a grip of the proceedings in terms of possession and attacking pressure.

Late shouts for a penalty were waved away deep into added time as Jamie Morgan went down under the challenge of the Padiham goalkeeper which looked like a certain spot kick, but the referee felt otherwise, ending the game 2-1 to the away side.

Radcliffe remain on home soil on Saturday, in a return to FA Trophy action with a third round tie against Redditch United as they look to reach the fourth round for the first time in the club's history.