STEVE Wilkes believes Northwich Victoria have an opportunity to persuade football followers in the town to take notice of their progress this weekend.

Their target is to reach the last 32 of the FA Vase, a national knockout competition, by beating North West Counties League rivals Silsden at Wincham Park.

The manager intends to remind his players of the impact a cup run can have.

He said: “They know already, but I’ll tell them again.

“1874 Northwich reached the semi-finals last season and 1,700 people came to watch.

“We’re on a good run at the moment and confidence is high – this is a shop window if people want to have a look at what we’re doing.”

Vics have yet to concede a goal in four FA Vase ties this season, and have eliminated Maltby Main, Cammell Laird and Prestwich Heys to reach this stage.

A 2-1 win at Charnock Richard last weekend was the team’s fifth in their past six matches in all competitions.

READ > Charnock Richard 1-2 Vics: match report

They have risen to sixth position in the Premier Division, and were denied by the weather a chance to move into the top four when a meeting with Barnoldswick Town on Tuesday night was called off.

Not that Wilkes minded much.

He said: “It goes against my instincts to tinker with the line-up.

“But we’ve got lads carrying knocks and one or two are feeling the effects of playing twice a week without a breather.”

He will be without suspended duo Rob Doran and Kirtis Monson this weekend while loan pair Jordan Darr and Olly Muir are both ineligible.

Wilkes hopes Joe Camozzi (hamstring) and Kieron Kenny (back) benefit from extra time to recover.

They will face opponents who are struggling, and a 3-2 defeat at Burscough on Tuesday was a sixth in their past eight games.

Indeed, Bootle hammered them 7-0 last weekend.

The West Yorkshire outfit, promoted at the end of last season, were in considerably better form when they visited Northwich in September. However they still lost.

READ > Vics 2-0 Silsden: match report

Wilkes said: “A cup game takes on a life of its own and so that previous meeting doesn’t count.

“We have home advantage and that helps us because we’ve produced our best performances on the pitch at Witton.”

If the scores end level on Saturday, then extra-time follows.

Should they need one a replay is scheduled for Tuesday, kick-off 8pm.