DETERMINED Simon Haworth has urged Clitheroe to hold their nerve and grab a play-off lifeline against Bamber Bridge at Shawbridge tonight (7.45pm)

The odds are stacked against Clitheroe now, Haworth’s men in ninth place and five points adrift of the final play-off berth with four games left on the fixture card.

However, victory against a Bamber Bridge side, managed by former Blues’ player-boss Neil Reynolds, would put them right back in the promotion mix.

“It is definitely still alive for us and we’ve got four cup finals in the next 11 days,” said the Clitheroe boss.

“The Easter weekend is massive for our hopes – we’ve got Ossett Albion on Saturday before we go to Colne on Easter Monday, but the priority has to be a win tonight.”

Clitheroe have exceeded all expectations this season, but after painful semi-final defeats in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy and the Integro League Cup, they are in danger of finishing the campaign with nothing to show for their efforts.

“When we came in last summer we had to start from scratch, so to be where we are, well I can’t praise the lads enough,” added Haworth. “We are operating with one of the smallest budgets in the league, and certainly not one that you could think would have taken us to the edge of the play-offs.

“But all that is down to a huge collective effort, from the players, fans and the committee.

“Just look at the attendances. Clitheroe have the fifth highest crowd attendances in Division One North and we’ve seen a 30 per cent rise in crowds from last season.

“I think people have got a sense that something good is happening at Shawbridge and they have turned out to support their team.”

Haworth will be hoping that Bamber Bridge will have one eye on their forthcoming Intergro Cup final against Grantham, who ended Clitheroe’s hopes in last week’s semi-final.

“I did worry that when we lost to Radcliffe Borough in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy that the season could unravel, but time and time again they’ve come back.

“We were 4-2 down on Saturday at Hyde United with six minutes left and we got a draw.”

Elsewhere tonight, Barnoldswick Town travel to Bootle in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division two days ahead of meeting the same opponents in the Macron Cup semi-final second leg. Barlick won the first leg 1-0 last week.