It’ll be a family affair when Padiham take on AFC Blackpool in the North West Counties Premier Division on Saturday.
While Storks boss Steve Wilkes dishes orders out from the sidelines at the Mechanics, son Zack will be taking up his role in central midfield for the hosts.
The pair were rivals for 90 minutes back in September in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Arbories as Padiham recovered from a two-goal deficit at the interval before salvaging a point courtesy of Chris Turner’s late strike.
“He celebrated when they took the lead and I did the same when we equalised,” said Wilkes, whose other son Lewis played under him at Runcorn Linnets.
“It’s not good. I hope he doesn’t play. We’re very close but we have banter in the house all week. He won’t travel with me to the game even though we’re leaving from the same house.
“It’s difficult because it’s a strange scenario and a strange feeling. We’re both passionate but we’re both professional so we’ll both do our jobs to the best of our ability on the day.
“We want three points to climb the table because we want a top six finish and they need the win because they’re second from bottom.”
Meanwhile, Wilkes praised hat-trick hero Daley Woods after the winger helped the Storks claim a point in a heated derby against Paul Fildes’s Nelson.
“I still think there’s even more to come from him because he’s not fully fit,” said Wilkes. “He’s up to six goals now and I don’t think he’s even played that amount of games for us yet.
“He did the same for me last season and if we’d have had him for the entire campaign so far he would’ve made a huge difference.
“At this level he’ll score more and more because he’s a great finisher. He’s a great lad to have around the dressing room too.
“He’s experienced, creates chances, his all round game is impressive. He’s been a very good signing for us.”
Padiham’s form has certainly improved of late with seven points accumulated from their last three outings in the league.
And Wilkes understands how vital that point against the Admirals could prove.
“It was an incredible game,” he said. “I’ve got to give massive credit to my players. They pulled it back from being 3-1 down late on and then recovered again.
“It should’ve been game over when we went 4-3 down, but they rolled their sleeves up and went straight back at them.
“They showed a lot of character to do that and in the end it would’ve felt like a better point for us.
“We’re on a mini run now after losing just two in nine in all competitions so we’re improving.”
Wilkes added: “It was a good way to start the year. We haven’t won a local derby this season but at least we avoided defeat in the latest one.
“But we’ll go in to our next fixture in high spirits because scoring a couple of goals in dramatic fashion against Nelson made it feel like we’d won the game.”
Attention will then switch to the MEN United Cup as the Storks host Runcorn Town at the Arbories in the third round on Wednesday, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
l Because of the ongoing wet weather, Padiham have moved their Lancashire FA Under 18 Youth Cup quarter-final tie with Hurst Green to the Prairie Sports Village 3G pitch this Sunday, with a 10-45 a.m. kick-off.
The cup tie has already suffered three postponements, and was this week scheduled to be played at Padiham’s Arbories Memorial Sports Grounds YESSS Electrical Arena.
But after discussions with the Lancashire FA, permission was given to switch the venue.
Padiham are still hoping to play their reserve team’s Lancashire Football League Cup tie against Colne Reserves at the Arbories tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m. but once again this is dependent on the weather.