PADIHAM manager Steve Wilkes took to social media to apologize to supporters after last weekend’s 7-0 mauling at the hands of 1874 Northwich.

“I’ve managed in non-league for 20 years, but I’ve never felt as low as I did last Saturday – it was an embarrassing result,” said Wilkes ahead of tonight’s home game with strugglers Alsager Town (8pm)

“It was definitely my worst feeling in management.”

The Storks boss, who had eight first teamers sidelined, added: “It is not nice losing 7-0 at home and you don’t expect that in front of your own fans.

“No manager wants that and I went on twitter to say sorry for the performance and that we let our fans down.

“It was our biggest crowd of the season too, but to turn in a performance like that was unacceptable.

“We had several key players out, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse.”

Wilkes was forced to field rookie goalkeeper Jamie Bradley, a student at Burnley College.

The 17-year-old stumped up his own train fare from Lincoln, where he was spending his Easter holiday at home, to answer Padiham’s SOS call when Wilkes’ first choice ‘keeper was ruled out.

Although Padiham were 5-0 down at half time, Wilkes stressed that Bradley, making his league debut, was not to blame for the gravity of the defeat.

“Jamie didn’t have a chance with any of the goals, he did his best in a very poor team performance,” said Wilkes.

“It showed his great enthusiasm and willingness to help us out that he travelled all that way to play for Padiham at very short notice and we’ll sort his costs out.”

Wilkes hopes to welcome back David Hankin, Dominic Slaven and Martin Parkes, who all missed last weekend’s debacle, tonight.

Padiham had enjoyed their best spell of the campaign in recent weeks, enjoying a five game unbeaten run before Saturday’s shock reverse.

“Whatever team we field tonight it has to perform a 100 per cent better than the one we served up against Northwich.

“I was reasonably happy with how things were going, we’d just won successive league games against Darwen and Winsford for the first time this season and we were beginning to get going a bit.

“However, we’ve just got to forget it about it now and make sure that we beat Alsager tonight.”

Struggling AFC Darwen are also in action tonight when they welcome leaders Runcorn Linnets to the Anchor Ground (8pm) in need of points to keep themselves above the drop line.

Meanwhile, Bacup Borough continue their First Division play-off push with a home game against Holker Old Boys tonight (8pm)