Padiham hope to attract derby crowd

Craig Chadwick
Craig Chadwick

IT might be cricket weather at the moment, but Padiham FC secretary Alan Smith hopes the sun will entice a few more fans down to the Arbories for the derby with Colne tomorrow (kick-off 3 p.m.).

The sides sit side by side in mid-table in the North West Counties League, and while neither are in title contention or relegation trouble, Smith expects a typically feisty affair.

Smith looked forward to the visit of the Reds: “Anything can happen in any local derby at this level - you can have won your last five, or lost five, but it’s what happens on the day.

“Colne lost 6-1 at home to Winsford on Tuesday night, but that doesn’t mean anything at all.

“It’s who’s up for it on the day, who’s most motivated, and hopefully we’ll want it more than them.”

With Burnley on their travels at Portsmouth, floating supporters may want to whet their appetite for football with a game, and Smith would love them to choose Padiham: “If people are planning to watch a game tomorrow, hopefully this game will be of interest to a few, both sides will be going out to win, we’re both on 44 points, and both are capable of beating the best, and struggling against teams lower down the table.

“But it should be entertaining.”

Padiham are looking to end an season of inconsistency on a high, and are unbeaten in three games, including the 3-1 win over St Helens Town on Saturday, and Smith added: “It’s not been the best of seasons, but we’ve picked up over the last five games - we targetted these games as ones where we needed to take points from, or suddenly, in this league, you can get dragged into trouble.

“But those fears have gone, and now it’s about finishing as high up the table as we can, although we still have some tough games remaining.”

It’s not been the easiest of weeks for manager Craig Chadwick, whose father David died suddenly last Wednesday - a big fan of his son at the Arbories as a player and manager.

Chadwick took his place in the dugout on Saturday, and Smith admitted: “It was a shock for Craig and all of us at the club that his father passed away so suddenly - he was a regular down at the club, supporting Craig down the years.

“It’s a case of whatever time Craig wants, he’ll get.”

Padiham are at Maine Road on Monday night (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).