History in the making for Storks

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Burnley FC reporter

STEVE Wilkes has told his Padiham players to keep on making history as they play for a place in the United Co-Operative Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy final.

Tonight’s showdown with Brent Peters’ Bacup Borough at the County Ground, Leyland, is a landmark moment for the Storks, who feature in the last four of the competition for the first time.

But with the carrot of a run-out at the Reebok Stadium, Wilkes insists their run doesn’t have to stop here.

“We’ve already made history by getting to the semi-finals, which we’ve never done before, but if we could go one step further that would be fantastic,” said Padiham manager Wilkes.

“Brent will be saying the same thing to his players of course.

“Bacup are a good cup side. They won the League Challenge Cup last year – he seems to get the best out of his players in the cup.

“But we’ve been playing well.

“We’d have liked to have had a game before tonight of course – as I’m sure Brent would too. It’s been two and a half weeks since we both last played because of the weather.

“This tie should have been played last Wednesday but fell foul of the weather.

“But the break has meant we’ve got a fully fit squad to choose from with Martin Parkes fit after just over two months out with a knee injury.

“It’s like having a new signing.”

Wilkes, who recently brought in Jack Overson from Barnoldswick Town, added: “It’s a fantastic achievement for both clubs to get this far, but we want to go to the Reebok now.

“We’ve worked so hard and done really well to get here, beating Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City from the division above.

“If we perform as well as we have done in the previous rounds, we stand a chance.”

The winners of tonight’s semi-final will face a wait before finding out who they will meet in the final.

AFC Fylde, Marine, Barrow, Southport and Kendal have all to complete their fixtures in the other half of the draw.

Borough have plenty of competition in attack for the derby tie and Peters has a decision to make with Graham McKeown, Dave Limabrooke and David Gray all vying for a place up front.

Entry for tonight’s game at the County Ground costs £8 for adults and £4 for concessions (under 16s and senior citizens).

It kicks off at 7.45pm.

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