The Storks aren’t a million miles away from where they need to be according to manager Steve Wilkes’s barometer.
The Arbories boss believes that Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Bootle in the second round of the FA Vase provided a relatively accurate indicator of the club’s progression this term, though he accepts that his players froze on the big day.
Steven Jones gave the Merseysiders the lead in the 20th minute while Carl Peers doubled the advantage with just seven minutes of the tie remaining.
“We just froze,” he said, following a first defeat in nine games. “It was a big game for us and I think we had four or five players that froze. It was just too much for them and we couldn’t come to terms with the occasion.
“It was a huge game for us, we were getting closer to Wembley, so it was a shame because we were on a decent run. The better team won on the day, though.”
Wilkes is also of the opinion that tomorrow’s game with high-flying 1874 Northwich on home soil will be another chance to gauge how far Padiham have come.
“We’re not a million miles away from where we need to be,” he said. “Another measure of where we are will come on Saturday when we face 1874 Northwich.
“They beat us 3-2 at the beginning of October and that was the only game, prior to the weekend, that we’d lost in this recent run.
“They are up there but we’ve shown that we’ve got the players to compete. We’re 11 points from fifth, which is a bit of a gap, but we just need to keep chipping away at that.
“They are above us in the league and we’ve got a game in hand so it’s important that we get three points. That would get us right back in the race.”