Liam Smith knows first hand just how tough a test his Padiham side will face when Charnock Richard visit the Ruby Civil Arena on Saturday.
The joint Storks boss was is the stands at the County Ground in Leyland as Andy Westwell’s side pushed Clitheroe all the way in the semi-final of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.
The game finished goal-less after 90 minutes and it was the same after extra-time as the Blues, from the Evo-Stik First Division North, prevailed on penalties to book their spot at the Macron Stadium.
“I had the chance to go and watch them with our game away at AFC Darwen being postponed,” said Smith, who will serve a three-game stadium ban following his dismissal against Widnes.
“It was a decent game, a hard-fought tie and there wasn’t much in it. Charnock Richard did really well and were a constant threat all night.
“They are a physical, hard-working and well-organised unit, they don’t take many risks and don’t give away too many chances. We know that we’re in for a tough game.
“I thought they represented the league really well in the cup and probably had the better chances on the night.
“We need a response because Hanley wanted it more than us in the last game. That was a huge disappointment and it can’t happen again.
“They had more fire in their bellies which is the biggest insult you can have in football.”