COLNE manager Steve Cunningham is looking forward to his side’s Lancashire Challenge Trophy semi-final.

The Evo Stik West Division side face Bamber Bridge in the last four tonight at The County Ground in Leyland (7.45pm). And Cunningham believes the prospect of a final at the University of Bolton Stadium is a big incentive for his side.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to reach a final. For a club of our size it’s a great incentive and another stepping stone for where we want to be,” he said.

“We’d love to be on a major stage and it’d be a real showpiece for us.”

Colne, semi-finalists in 2016, are a division below Brig, but the Reds boss is still confident of reaching the final.

He added: “We’ve had a tough run of fixtures lately where we’ve done well and we’ve already shown that we can beat Hyde United.

“I’ve done my research so we’re prepared. We’ve got a very good side so if they execute the game plan we’ve got a great chance.”

The two sides met earlier in the season with Bamber Bridge running out 3-1 winners in the Integro League Cup.

However Cunningham was impressed with his side’s performance and thinks Bamber Bridge will be wary of his team.

He said: “We gave a good account of ourselves and it shows that we shouldn’t fear them. I think they might not have wanted us in the draw and we believe that we’re as good as Bamber Bridge on our day.”

The Reds are currently ninth in the league, six points behind the play-off spots, but Cunningham doesn’t see the cup as a distraction.

He said: “We’ve taken this competition seriously since day one. We see every game as important as the other and for now we’ll concentrate on Bamber Bridge.”

Evo Stik Premier Bamber Bridge are without a win in their last six games, but Cunningham won’t be underestimating the opposition.

He added: “We’re coming off the back of a very good performance at Leek but form goes out of the window in the cup. Bamber Bridge have had some close defeats and they’ve got a strong side.”

Colne will be without the injured Lee Pugh while fellow defender Matty Makinson is a doubt and Billy Priestley is cup tied.

Elsewhere tonight Bacup Borough entertain AFC Liverpool in the Hallmark Security League First Division North.

Last night Barnoldswick Town lost 4-3 to Guiseley in the semi-final of the West Riding County Cup while in the Evo-Stik West Ramsbottom were 6-0 winners at Newcastle Town.