STEVE Wilkes has stated his players like the idea of becoming gatecrashers when Northwich Victoria visit champions-elect Bootle this afternoon.

The home team will be promoted as champions from the North West Counties League’s Premier Division if they beat Vics.

But the visitors, guaranteed to finish fourth whatever the result, are in no mood to be bystanders at a party.

“We’d like to poop it if I’m honest,” said Wilkes.

“Bootle have won their past 20 matches, and for that I take my hat off to them because at any level of the game that’s remarkable.

“But it’s an incentive for us to be the side that ends that run.”

The Bucks enter the weekend occupying first place in the table following a 1-0 win against City of Liverpool, their tenants and also rivals for the title, on Easter Monday.

It leaves the two teams tied on 88 points with the Purps, who visit Irlam later, now second on goal-difference.

Wilkes said: “We’ve lost the past five games against City of Liverpool, the past four of those by the same 2-1 score-line, and so from a selfish point of view we’d quite like to see the back of them!

“Let’s see what happens; if it’s 0-0 at half-time, then Bootle will start to get nervous.

“If it’s still level after 65 minutes, they may just panic.

“For us, it’s one of those rare occasions when the pressure is off us and we can relax.

“We don’t mind if it’s hyped up; we’ve proven often this season that we’re a good side in one-off knockout games.”

Vics have played nine games already in April following their FA Vase exit at the semi-finals stage the previous month.

Despite a hectic schedule, they have lost only once in that run – a 1-0 defeat at home to Irlam on Easter Monday.

They followed that with a 2-2 draw at Silsden 48 hours later.

Joel Brownhill has recovered from an injury sustained in that game and is available for selection.

Front man Rob Doran (shoulder) is the only injury absentee.