Smith is all smiles after Storks bounce back in style

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Liam Smith was delighted with the response of the Storks after the club returned to winning ways at the first time of asking.

The Ruby Civil Arena boss, who governs the squad alongside Dixon Lambert and Alex Norwood, had backed his players to bounce back after their seven-game unbeaten run was ended in the cruelest of circumstances against Hanley Town.

And they delivered when overcoming the ferocity of Storm Brian to beat AFC Liverpool 3-1 at the Marine Travel Arena and climb to eighth in the Hallmark Security Premier Division.

“The conditions were tough,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than gale force winds in football because it spoils it. But we showed really good character to come back and react.

“It was a gutsy performance and after conceding late on we showed that resilience to go on and win the game. That was pleasing.

“It was good to see our fitness levels come through as well because it was sapping with the horrendous weather and heavy pitch.

“Some teams would’ve downed tools after conceding at that stage but we found another level.

“It was a massive response after having our seven game unbeaten run ended so cruelly. It can be hard to pick people back up after something like that.

“That shows and sums up our character. We’ve got experienced players who know what this level is about and they knew what they had to do to respond. They collectively got a grip of the game and took three points away from home.

“We were two experienced players down as well with Michael Morrison suspended and Marc Young unavailable so it was good to see the grit, determination and resolve to get the result.”

Padiham entertain Widnes at the Arbories tomorrow (kick off 3 p.m.) with just one place and a solitary point separating the two teams.

“It’s a funny league,” said Smith. “We’re just taking it one game at a time, trying to win them and then look to finish as high as we can.

“It’s pleasing to see us climb the table because we were 21st when we took over and we’re still building. The aim is to keep this run going.

“We’re creating that winning mentality at the football club. We are all winners from the management team down to the players that we’re fetching in.

“We want to win every single game that we play. Who knows what we can go on to achieve this season.

“They are one below us in the league so it’s an important fixture. We’ve watched them a couple of times in recent weeks. We’ve prepared well and worked hard ready for it so it’s all systems go.”