WAYNE Goodison will urge 1874 Northwich players to remember how they felt following a loss to Bootle ahead of a Macron Cup semi-final first leg.

The co-manager said a meeting with the promotion-chasing Bucks was a gauge of their progress after an improved run of results.

They lost 2-0, but the frustration expressed afterwards was an indication the visitors believed they hadn’t done themselves justice.

READ > Bootle 2-0 1874: match report

A clash with Congleton Town, another rival that has spent most of the campaign in the North West Counties League top-flight’s upper reaches, is an opportunity to put that right.

“We’ve not played anybody of Bootle’s ilk since,” said Goodison.

“The lads felt afterwards that they’d performed better than the result suggested and this is a similar test for us.

"Congleton are having a great season and have been close to the top of the table all the way through.

"But we've gone away to the likes of City of Liverpool and Bootle and played without fear while trying to impose ourselves on the opposition."

READ > Everything you need to know before 1874 visit Congleton

1874 tied 1-1 with Squires Gate on Tuesday, a second successive draw following a goalless stalemate at Silsden last weekend.

Indeed their only loss in the past seven outings was that game on Merseyside at the start of the month.

They can take encouragement too from the fact they have completed a league double over the Bears already this season.

Goodison said: “A cup game brings with it a different dynamic.

“All I’d take from those previous results is that we know we’re capable of beating them.

"If we're honest, they might have gone either way and, like most games between these teams, it was a good contest played in a decent spirit.

"They'll look at it and think 'We weren't too far away from beating 1874'.

READ > 1874 3-2 Congleton: previous meeting this season

"Our lads are desperate to play in the semi-final and are motivated, given how our season has gone, to have a good crack at winning a trophy.

"I don't think there will be much in it, nor would I be surprised if it finishes 3-3!"

Congleton act as hosts on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

The second leg is seven days later at Barton Stadium.