AFC DARWEN chairman Wayne Wild wants the Salmoners to finish what they have started when they host Chadderton tonight for a place in the North West Counties League Division One play-off final.

Darwen are unbeaten in their last 11 matches having collected 10 wins and a draw, including lifting the league cup with a victory over champions Atherton Collieries.


But Wild, who took over as chairman in the summer, wants to make sure his side finish the job.

He said: “The lads are confident and we have been on a heck of a run.

“But all the wins won’t really count for much if we don’t finish the job now.

“Our aim at the start of the season was to get promoted. We felt at the start of the season that we had a good enough team to do that.

“We are on a great run of form and to win the cup and get promoted would be fantastic.”

But it will be a tough test against a Chadderton side who were the last team to beat Darwen when they won 1-0 in late March.

“They have beaten us twice this season,” said Wild.

“They knocked us out of the FA Vase as well so I guess the players will have that little bit of psychology in the back of the minds.

“But we have got a winning mentality now.

“We were losing at half time on Saturday and came back to win the game in the last minute.

“It shows what this squad is capable of.

“We are on a really good run and although the lads are tired, hopefully we can reach the final.”

Should Darwen progress tonight then they will host the winners of the other last four tie - Hanley Town or Holker Old Boys - in the final by virtue of being the highest placed league finisher.

Nick Lloyd’s men secured that advantage with a thrilling 3-2 win over Eccleshall on Saturday which saw Ryan Steele net a last-minute penalty to seal the points - and his hat-trick.

And Wild is confident that should promotion be achieved Darwen can go from strength to strength.

He said: “We are a club on the up, not just on the pitch but off it as well.

“We have a Centre of Excellence in place with Blackburn College and had 12 junior teams affiliated to the club this season. Blackburn Rovers Ladies also play at our ground.

“We are excited by the future.”

Tonight’s game at the Anchor Ground is a 7.45pm kick off.