Padiham 2 Warrington Town 4

A hat-trick from Ciaran Kilheeney helped Warrington Town move three points clear at the top of the table after surviving a second half fightback at Padiham.

Shaun Reid's men led 3-0 early in the second half following a Kilheeney penalty, but were dragged back to 3-2 before a late goal ensured the three points.

In swirling wind and rain, it took 16 minutes for the first shot on goal, Josh Ollerenshaw pushing a shot on to the crossbar after David Mannix had been dispossessed in midfield.

That sparked Warrington in to life, and Richard Wright should have done better when the ball fell to him in the box off a shot by Ben Wharton that was saved low his left by Padiham goalkeeper Sean Davis. Moments later, Scott Metcalfe fired across the face of the goal.

The deadlock was broken shortly after the half hour mark, an excellent corner delivery by David Mannix saw the ball fall to Kilheeney's feet barely a yard out from goal, and he managed to bundle it over the line under attention from the goalkeeper and a defender.

Town continued to mount pressure and good work by Wright set Wharton free, only for the striker to hesitate and miss the chance to get a clear shot at goal.

Reid's men were finding much success down the right, and it was Carlos Meakin's turn to force a save from the home goalkeeper, cutting in from the wing off a through ball by Mannix and curling left footed towards the far corner.

A second goal came before half time, Richard Anane's deep cross was knocked back by Kilheeney at the far post and Wright couldn't miss from six yards out.

The second half, briefly threatened by the referee who had expressed some concerns over the worsening state of the pitch, started in a similar vein, and Kilheeney squandered a glorious chance following a superb low crossfield pass by Metcalfe.

Kilheeney was able to make amends on 54 minutes from the penalty spot. Wharton proved too quick for his man on the turn, and was dragged down in the box, and Kilheeney made no mistake from 12 yards, firing in to the bottom right corner.

But three minutes later, Padiham found an avenue back in to the game, Kieran Pickup's looping shot evading David Thompson at the back post for 3-1.

What followed was a difficult 20 minute period for Town, playing up hill and in to the wind in what was increasingly becoming a mudbath.

They managed to weather the storm until the 79th minute, when Louis Mayers crashed home left footed from the edge of the box to make it 3-2 and set up a frantic finale.

The goal prompted a Warrington substitution, Ash Ruane replacing Wharton, and the forward, who has gained a reputation as a super sub with a variety of important late goals this season, almost made an immediate impact, rounding the goalkeeper and seeing his shot blocked on the line, with Meakin also denied by a block on the line from the rebound.

Town's nerves were settled, though, with six minutes to play when Kilheeney found space on the left and coolly finished with his weaker foot to complete his hat-trick and secure the three points.

With rivals Curzon Ashton dropping points in a home defeat to Ossett Town, Farsley have now displaced them in second place, three points behind Warrington.

Padiham: Davis, Carter, Bradley (Cowen), Overson, Craig, Boyle, Turner, Blackburn, Pickup, Mayers. Unused subs: Sharples, Jones, Britton, Murphy.

Warrington: Ollerenshaw, Anane, Thompson, Wright (Gahgan), Robinson, McKenna, Kilheeney (Bowen), Mannix, Wharton (Ruane), Meakin, Metcalfe. Unused subs: Dawson, Davies