JANUARY’S manager of the month Craig Chadwick is delighted with the progress his side have made after the Storks maintained their unbeaten start to 2011.
The Storks boss received his accolade prior to Saturday’s 2-1 win against Stone Dominoes at the Arbories, while full-back Keiran Fletcher was also presented his player of the month award by league management committee representative Ian Williams.
However, it proved to be an afternoon of mixed emotions for Fletcher who was dismissed during the fixture following a two-footed challenge which will now see him serve a three game suspension.
Chadwick said: “We knew it was coming but it’s good for the club, especially with Kieran (Fletcher) winning his award as well. It was nice for our hard work to be acknowledged and it’s a good advertisement for Padiham Football Club to show the progress that we are making.
“It was unfortunate for Keiran to get sent off though. It was a two-footed challenge from Keiron, but he won the ball. He’d never go in to a tackle to hurt someone but the referee has seen two feet off the ground and sent him off. So he’ll be missing for three matches soon, meaning we’ll have to change it a bit, but we’ve got a squad to cope with that.”
Defender Ben Hoskin has returned from a trip Stateside following a two-week trial with MLS side Colorado Rapids and will go straight in to the squad for the weekend’s trip to Edge Green Street to face St Helens Town. Chadwick has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the fixture and is appreciative of the selection headache he will be posed with.
“They’ve picked up some good results lately,” Chadwick said. “They beat us at home earlier in the season, they are quite a strong physical side and they’ve moved away from Knowsley Road now to Ashton Town’s ground which is quite a small pitch. They try to get in your faces and stop you from playing football which will make it tough for us but we’ve shown that we’re capable of battling and grinding out results.
“But from our point of view we’ve got a full squad. Ben (Hoskin) is back from his trial in Colorado and we’ve got no fresh injuries or suspensions to worry about so everybody is available. It will be a tough decision as to who will be starting but it’s a nice headache for a manager to have.”
It’s four months since Padiham were beaten in the league, which has seen them climb to sixth in the Vodkat North West Counties Premier Division table, and Chadwick is relishing his team’s status as the ‘team to beat’.
“We just want to keep this winning run going. At half-time against Stone Dominoes everyone was on a high so it’s great that we are still unbeaten this year and we are closing the gap on the teams above.
“All of a sudden people are taking note. I think the last time we were beaten in the league was against Winsford United on October 23rd. We’ve been able to raise our game, adapt to different types of opponent and win our personal battles. The lads know what’s expected of them; they know you can’t always play pretty football for 90 minutes because sometimes you need to pull your sleeves up and get stuck in.”