SOME managers view domestic cup competitions as major distractions, a burden to an already hectic league programme.
But Padiham boss Craig Chadwick sees them as another chance to succeed and an opportunity to breed confidence among his Arbories ranks.
“Sometimes the cup competitions can be seen as a distraction because teams already have a busy league programme but all the players want to do is play,” he said. “It’s good for confidence and a couple of decent wins can kick-start your season. It’s a good distraction for us.”
The Storks are still involved in the FA Vase, League Challenge Cup and the FA Lancashire Trophy with their latest success coming in the former against First Division Oldham Boro. Goals from Stuart Telfer and Andy Howarth gave the Storks a 2-0 lead at the interval at the Whitebank Stadium but Mark Coyne pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half. However, Damien Morrison ensured Padiham’s passage in to the second round.
“It was a steady performance and we did what we had to do,” said Chadwick. “The state of the pitch spoilt the game a bit but we overcame that and did well. We were never really in danger though we gave a sloppy goal away with a back pass that bobbled when it reached the keeper.
“We expressed the importance of not under-estimating our opposition before the fixture because it was always going to be a battle. We swapped things about a bit and packed the midfield to win all the second balls. It paid off but it wasn’t pretty.”
Padiham were drawn at home against Northern Counties East League Division One outfit Askern Villa but Chadwick insists that his players won’t enter the tie with complacency when the sides meet on Saturday, November 19th.
“On paper it’s a great draw for us,” said the Storks boss. “To start with it’s at home and they are second bottom of their league. However, they beat Silsden away in the first qualifying round of the competition and they went on to knock out two teams from the league above them. That shows they are capable of causing an upset so we can’t go in to the tie complacent.”
Tomorrow will see Chadwick’s men pit their wits against another First Division opposition in yet another cup competition. The Storks travel to the Andrew Street ground to face mid-table Chadderton in the second round of the League Challenge Cup.
Chadwick said: “It’s another one where Chadderton will fancy a cup scalp. It gives me the chance to change things around a bit. We are still taking all these competitions seriously but it’s an ideal time to implement new things.”
And their current cup campaign is rounded with a tie against Northern Premier League Premier Division side Kendal Town: “We’ve got Kendall in the FA Lancashire Trophy who are a decent side in a couple of leagues above us. It will be a good test for us and it will show how far we’ve come in this last 18 months.”
But Chadwick is ecstatic about his side’s progress in domestic competitions. Last season the Storks were dumped out of each cup in the first round but now Chadwick has a vision that stretches towards the latter stages of the competitions. Padiham now have a chance to shine, they have an opportunity to go the distance and claim some silverware.
“Last season we were out of all the cups in the first round and we didn’t perform well enough at all,” said Chadwick. “We had to improve on that this year and the League Cup is one we expect to have a chance in. But the FA Vase is the big one for us, it brings in good revenue for the club as well.”