STEVE Wilkes believes an FA Vase exit provides Northwich Victoria with a greater incentive to beat 1874 Northwich in the Mid-Cheshire District FA Senior Cup.

Vics act as hosts at Wincham Park for a semi-finals encounter tonight, Thursday, kick-off 7.45pm.

READ > Everything you need to know before Vics host 1874

“It was always a big game because of who we’re up against,” said the manager.

“But I do think it’s taken on more significance after we lost [at Chertsey].

“If they beat us, then they’ll be through to two finals. That adds to the spice."

Both teams are enjoying their best run of form this season.

Vics have lost only one of their past 10 matches in the North West Counties League’s top-flight and avoided defeat in four FA Vase games during the same period.

They also won 3-2 in the rivals’ most recent meeting in January – a first triumph after seven failed previous attempts.

READ > Vics 3-2 1874: how the Guardian reported it

Their response to a penalty shoot-out defeat in the last four of the FA Vase, which denied them a chance to play at Wembley, has been to beat both Barnoldswick and Litherland.

A third victory would have followed had Terry Gibson not scored an injury-time equaliser for Burscough last weekend.

Wilkes said: “We’d have liked to have gone into Thursday on the back of a win.

“Meanwhile 1874 have found a bit of form and have got their confidence back as well as a few lads too.

“We know that we’re in for a tough game, but I’m sure they’ll be thinking the same."

Winsford United, conquerors of holders Witton Albion in the other last-four encounter, await the victors.