AFC DARWEN manager Kenny Langford insists his giant-killing side will be under absolute ‘no pressure’ in tonight’s Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy semi-final with Chorley at the County Ground in Leyland (7.45pm).
Darwen have knocked out Evo-Stik League First Division North duo Burscough and Kendal Town on their way to the last four.
And the North West Counties League outfit know if they can pull off another shock this evening a dream final at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium awaits.
But Langford is adamant that all the expectancy will be on 15-time winners Chorley, who play three rungs higher up the non-league ladder in the Evo-Stik Premier Division than underdogs Darwen.
“It’s going to be a great for us,” said Langford.
“Garry Flitcroft has built a great team in Chorley and he has done a massive job on getting them to the position that they are in.
“No-one will give us a chance but if I thought that then it’s time for me to pack it in.
“All the pressure is on Chorley as I have seen major shocks in football over the past years.
“Chorley will be looking at who we have had to beat to get there and I’m sure they will give us some respect.
“It will be a great occasion for everyone involved with the club and I hope the people from Darwen turn out and give us support.”
Darwen will certainly be the fresher of the two teams as six of their last seven matches have been postponed.
Their latest fixture to fall victim to the poor weather was Saturday’s North West Counties First Division Challenge Cup quarter-final tie at Leek CSOB.
One Darwen player who was disappointed to see that game rained off was winger Ryan Steels as it means his suspension – incurred after a sending off at Widnes Vikings in December – carries over for tonight’s Chorley clash.
Langford may also be without centre-back Matt Taylor through injury.
His opposite number Flitcroft, is likely to rest centre back Keil O’Brien but the Magpies boss is promising to select a strong side as he bids to repeat the triumph of 2012 when Chorley beat Kendal in the final.
Flitcroft, whose team top the Evo-Stik Premier Division, said: “It’s a game we want to win because we want to get to that final again as it was a great night.
“We won’t be taking Darwen lightly as they are a good side.
“We’ve tried to have them watched in the last week or so but all their games have been cancelled so we’ve not seen them.”
Admission for tonight’s game is £8 for adults and £4 for concessions.