Steve Wilkes has declared Padiham’s 7-0 hammering against 1874 Northwich as his worst moment in management.
The Storks, who had embarked on a five-game unbeaten run, were five goals down at the interval with Matthew Beadle netting four times for the visitors while Stuart Wellstead added another.
Wellstead and Beadle also added to the scoring in the second half to add to the home side’s misery.
Wilkes was without seven players for the clash with goalkeeper Matt Donlan, captain Martin Parkes, leading scorer Kieron Pickup, Lee Botham, Dom Slaven and David Hankin all absent for the fixture.
“It was the worst 90 minutes that I’ve endured as a manager,” he said. “It was the worst feeling I’ve had.
“It’s my heaviest defeat as a manager on home soil so it wasn’t nice at all. I haven’t slept all weekend.”
Wilkes called on Jamie Bradley to deputise for the injured Donlan with the young UCFB student travelling from Lincoln to feature.
“He wasn’t at fault for any of the goals,” Wilkes said. “He made a long journey up on the train only to be let down badly by the 10 players in front of him.”
Wilkes also rued a missed opportunity at 2-0 as striker Aaron Taylor cleared the crossbar from four yards out from Jake Townsend’s cross from the bye-line. Garry Hunt also thumped the crossbar from 30 yards out after the break.
“That could’ve been a turning point,” he said. “It was a big moment in the game. It could’ve been different had we scored that.”
A crowd of 245 watched the fixture at the Arbories, including club secretary Alan Smith. And Wilkes was highly apologetic for letting them down.
“It was horrible to watch,” he said. “We were punished for every mistake that we made and they scored with every shot they had. They scored five headers though and that just isn’t good enough.
“I can only apologise to all the spectators who turned up because we let them down. There was almost 250 fans there and we threw in our worst performance of the season. It’s typical.”
The Padiham boss is hoping to have some of his absentees back for Wednesday’s clash at home to Alsager Town (kick off 7-45 p.m.).
“That game is gone now so we can move on. There was only three points at stake so we’ll just write that one off as a bad day at the office.
“We just need a response now and bounce back midweek. I think we’re safe now but we still need to win games.”