Wilkes takes dismissal on the chin after Ossett fracas

Dominic Craig was targeted at Ossett Town
Dominic Craig was targeted at Ossett Town

Storks boss Steve Wilkes was apologetic after being dismissed in the defeat to Ossett Town on Saturday, but admits he doesn’t regret defending his players.

Wilkes became embroiled in an altercation with Town’s Richard Patterson at the interval, after the midfielder appeared to strike Dominic Craig on three occasions once Padiham penalty appeals were waved away.

A mass confrontation then extended to the tunnel, which resulted in the match official expelling Wilkes from his technical area at the Ingfield stadium in the second half.

“I was fuming,” Wilkes said. “You have to question the behaviour and mentality of their players.

“It’s ridiculous that a headbutt, a punch and a kick went unnoticed by all three officials.

“It’s their job to protect the players on the pitch, and that’s all that I was doing.

“Dom is a quiet lad and not one for getting in to trouble.

“I apologised to the players after the game for my involvement, but I’d defend my lads again if I had to.

“I don’t like seeing my players getting bullied.”

New signing James Blackburn had given Padiham the lead against their high-flying opponents, but his opener was cancelled out by Callum Ward within four minutes.

Town’s Fernando Moke then shattered the equilibrium after the break before Chris Wood struck late to make it 3-1.

“I’ll take the blame for it because at that point in the game we were well on top,” said Wilkes.

“We’d played really well, but after half-time they came out all fired up. We created chances but they had their tails up so I take full responsibility. It ultimately back fired on us but I’m sure other managers would do the same.”

The Storks return to the Arbories tomorrow, where they look to end a three game pointless run against Burscough.

The Linnets are currently four places and six points above Padiham in the Evo-Stik First Division North having played a game more.

And Wilkes acknowledges that the fixture provides a great opportunity to plug the gap.

“We’re back at home at weekend,” he said. “They are down there with us so it’s an important game. I’ll hopefully have Ben Allen back and Louis Mayers will be returning from suspension.Tom Bradley is a possibility, Elliot Dunn is set to feature for the reserves and Jack Overson is stepping up his training. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We’ve had three defeats on the trot now and tomorrow is going to be a tough one. It’s a game we need to win because we need to pick up points against opposition in and around us.”

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