Local pride at stake for Padiham

John Blakeley (r) in action against Maine Road
John Blakeley (r) in action against Maine Road

STORKS boss Craig Chadwick believes his side can finish top of the local pile in the North West Counties Premier Division.

Sandwiched in between the two clubs in the standings is Nigel Coates’ Colne.

“It’s a big game,” Chadwick said.

“We are looking forward to it and it has all the ingredients for being a well-contested local derby.

“If we beat Barnoldswick it does give us that chance to finish top of the local sides. That would be very nice.

“Kieran Fletcher is serving the final game of his four-match suspension and I’ll check on the fitness of John Blakeley (groin) and Lee Kershaw (hamstring) closer to the time after they came off against Maine Road.”

The Storks had embarked on a nine match unbeaten run recently which was brought to a halt with a shock 3-2 defeat against Bacup Borough on home soil.

Padiham’s following home match also resulted in a loss, 2-1 at the hands of Atherton LR, but Chadwick is confident that his players can right those wrongs.

He said: “When we went to Barnoldswick earlier in the season they scored an injury time winner and came from behind twice in the process so we will be looking to avenge that. We have nothing to fear.

“I went to Maine Road midweek to watch Barnoldswick to give me an insight. They lost 2-1.

“We will be fine if we stop giving silly goals away because we’ve shown that we’ve got goals in us.”

Chadwick is now urging his players to pick up the momentum for the 2010/11 season’s final run in.

Nine games remain and the Storks are well on course to achieve their start-of-season target.

“Our target at the beginning of the season was to finish better than last year,” Chadwick said.

“That was 10th place with 60 points so anything other than that is a massive bonus.

“We just need to get back on track and get a run of games going.

“To be honest I’d be disappointed if we didn’t get in to the top five.

“If we can get fifth place it would be a fantastic finish for us.

“We don’t want the season to peter out now, we need to keep going and pick up as many points as we can until the end of the season.”

• BURNLEY Miners Veterans are in action on Sunday in the Umbro Trophy Quarter-Finals against a strong side from Bradford.

The Miners were due to face Commercial Old Boys from Colne last Wednesday, but the game was called off due to unforeseen circumstances.

However, the over 40s team kick-off at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Belvedere’s Holden Road, and will face some very familiar faces.

The Bradford side include a number of former Burnley players including Roger Eli, Liam Robinson and John Francis, as well as former Manchester United and Oldham star Andy Ritchie.

The two sides have already met once this season, with Bradford coming out on top 5-3, so the locals will be out to gain some revenge, as well as progressing to this year’s semi-final.

The Miners’ team will also consist of some well-known local faces and they hope to attract a sizeable crowd to cheer them on.

The club house will be open for refreshments during the game.

• IGHTEN Leigh Under 11s enjoyed a 5-2 win against Pendle Forest.

Manager’s man of the match Haydn Carroll got Leigh off to a flying start with the first of five goals, with further efforts from Matthew Howarth, Harry Kerrigan, Thomas Fewster and Jenson Barker. Liam Gidley was named man of the match.