PADIHAM have snapped up ex-Morecambe centre forward Aaron Taylor who looks set to make his Storks debut in tonight’s home clash with local rivals Darwen.

Taylor scored on his full debut for Morecambe against Rochdale at Christie Park in 2008 and was a regular in Sammy McIlroy’s side until he was released by the Shrimps two years later.

Since then Taylor, 25, has journeyed through non-league with Barrow, Kendal, Workington, Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City where he had appeared to have fallen out of favour, despite netting seven goals in a dozen starts for the Dolly Blues.

“Bringing Aaron here is a great signing for Padiham, and hopefully it will help him to kick start things too with regular football,” said Storks boss Steve Wilkes.

“He has had several clubs since he dropped out of the league, but I always thought he was a player of great potential.

“I think Aaron can do a big job for us.”

Although Taylor did not feature for Lancaster in the Challenge Trophy victory over Padiham a week ago, Wilkes refused to use that semi-final defeat as an excuse for Saturday’s 3-1 reverse to West Didsbury and Chorlton.

“The performance against West Didsbury was by far our worst of the season,” said Wilkes who attempts to guide Padiham to their first derby success of the campaign tonight.

“We were disgraceful - completely lacking in commitment, desire and passion,” he added.

“I didn’t rant and rave in the dressing room afterwards. I sat the players down and asked them all to close their eyes for ten seconds and to think what they had contributed in the game.

“There was just silence and that told me that they had contributed nothing.”

Wilkes, a former Darwen boss, added: “I felt for the lads when we went out on penalties to Lancaster, especially as we had led the tie three times, but you can’t pick and choose games when you feel like it and we didn’t show anything last weekend.

“It would have been out of this world if Padiham had reached the final and got to play at Bolton, but it wasn’t to be and we need to get going again.”

Padiham are still not safe from the threat of relegation though, and Wilkes added: “We badly need a win – we shouldn’t be where we are in the table.”

In the other game locally tonight, Bacup Borough are in First Division action when they host Ashton Town.