Wilkes isn't giving up on title just yet

Padiham boss Steve Wilkes isn't giving up hope of getting in the mix for the North West Counties Premier Division title.

After a shaky spell, where the Storks lost seven league games from eight, as well as suffering defeat to Newcastle Benfield in the FA Cup, they’ve recovered to win five games out of six.

The 2012/13 champions are 16 points adrift of table toppers Runcorn Town with a game in hand, but recent results and performances have given Wilkes plenty of room for optimism.

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After beating Guisborough Town 3-0 in the FA Vase, earning a third-successive clean sheet, Wilkes said: “I’m not going to tell you that we’re going to win the league, but we’re not giving up on it. We’ll take it one game at a time and see where we are at Christmas.

“I would be foolish to say that it’s out of our reach if we continue playing the way we are doing.

“I think we’re playing like a team that would be considered one of the best in the league.

“We’re getting a settled side now and we’re gathering a bit of rhythm and confidence. That’s a massive part of football.

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“We just feel like we’re going to turn up and win every game.

“We’ve kept three clean sheets on the bounce as well which is as important as scoring goals. James Dean has scored 12 goals in as many games, Garry Hunter is back to being one of the best midfielders at this level after recovering from injury, Joseph Whittington has settled in well and we’ve got Kieron Pickup back. We’ve got a much better squad now than we started the season with.”