Padiahm back to their best - boss

Craig Chadwick
Craig Chadwick

Padiham boss Craig Chadwick was delighted with his side’s 2-0 victory over Congleton Town on Saturday.

The Storks have now climbed up to 13th in the table and are unbeaten in their last three league outings.

It proved to be a Christmas to forget for Padiham as they lost out to both the opposition and the winter weather. However, the Storks have dramatically turned their form around: “I was very pleased with the performance, said Chadwick: “We were back to our best. I thought it was a tough game, but we were able to take our chances and put in a solid performance.”

Following the team’s 4-0 home defeat to Silsden at the beginning of the year, Chadwick vowed to do all he could to turn results around: “We went back to basics and I was very pleased with the outcome. We’d had some disappointing results, but we managed to see this latest game out and get the win.

“We’ve finally managed to get the complacency out of our system.”

Chadwick, who previously targeted a top 10 finish after his side’s bleak festive form, now has renewed hope that the Storks can begin to mount a serious assault on the top six: “It’s by no means a massive gap, so I’m hopeful we can move up the table.

“We’re not a long way off the top teams in the league.”

With four out of their next five games being against teams lower down in the league, Padiham have a favourable run of fixtures, however, Chadwick understands that there are a number of difficult matches remaining: “We have tough games later in the season away to the team that’s top at the moment, Bootle, and Barnoldswick Town will be a hard game as well.”

With this run of games that could potentially make or break their season, Chadwick will be hopeful that his players can remain fit, but has not ruled out promoting players from the reserves. Padiham Reserves are enjoying a successful campaign and currently sit third in their league, just five points off the summit: “They’re very capable of getting in the side.

“The reserves are a very young side and they’ve certainly a lot of potential, but I think it would have been very unfair to include any of them in the team when we were on a bad run of form.”

Chadwick is by no means opposed to including young players in the first team: “We had two or three of the young lads in the side last year and they performed very well, but work commitments have unfortunately ruled them out.”

Tomorrow sees Padiham play host to Ashton Athletic, who sit just one place above the Storks in the table.

Chadwick is confident that the game will be one to remember, with a familiar face returning to the Arbories: “Our former manager, Steve Wilkes, is in charge there now, so it should be a good game.

“We beat them two weeks ago so they’ll be out for revenge.”

Should results go their way, Padiham could end the weekend just one place and one point outside the top 10.