Padiham boss Steve Wilkes is urging his players to cross the line in style with the club just 90 minutes away from creating history on two fronts.
A point against Runcorn Town at Pavilions Sandy Lane tomorrow would guarantee the Storks the Premier Division title - an outstanding achievement for a club considered to be minnows, swimming in a pool of richer, more imposing opposition.
And should Padiham avoid defeat they would become the first club at that level of football’s hierarchy to survive an entire season without being beaten away from home - a conclusion confirmed by league statistician Ian Templeman.
April’s Manager of the Month has been made to wait patiently in his side’s bid to be crowned champions as Bootle’s 3-1 victory over Winsford United ensured the chase went to the final day. Though it would take somewhat of a miracle for Padiham to be usurped at the summit - with Bootle requiring a 12-goal swing - Wilkes doesn’t want to leave anything to chance.
“I’m still not going to say that we’ve done it because it’s not mathematically certain but I think the Bootle result will make the players focus a bit more for our final game,” said Wilkes.
“We want that record of going through an entire season without being beaten away from home. The league’s statistician Ian Templeman confirmed we’d be the first team at that level to achieve the feat so to couple that with the title would be fantastic and a great achievement.”
Wilkes added: “It’d be great to round the season off in style. I don’t want to win it on goal difference, I want to win it outright.
“This would mean everything to Padiham Football Club. It would mean that all the hard work that people such as Alan Smith have put in behind the scenes would all come to fruition. It would be a deserving reward for the players, coaches, staff and fans who have been on this journey together. It would be an incredible achievement, now we just have to get over the line.”