THE calendar may just have turned over into December, but Walsham-le-Willows already face a must-win game against relegation rivals Wivenhoe Town tomorrow (3pm).
Walsham were humbled 4-1 at the hands of fellow strugglers Felixstowe and Walton United on Saturday and now find themselves five points adrift in the drop zone, albeit with six games in hand over tomorrow’s opponents.
And after the disastrous display at Dellwood Avenue, Smith admitted his side ‘pressed the self-destruct button’.
“We got back to 1-1 with a penalty and had two fantastic chances, but their goalkeeper pulled off the two bets saves I’ve seen this season,” said the Willows’ chief. “Within five minutes we were 4-1 down — three balls got launched through, our two centre-halves weren’t concentrating and the ball went in.”
The game was end-to-end with Ben Cranfield going close for Felixstowe early on, while the dangerous James Tatham and Will Brown both had strong penalty shouts waved away.
Cranfield made Walsham pay on the half-hour-mark with a tap-in at the far post, while the Willows’ best chance came after Paul Musgrove slammed the ball against a defender’s arm and then put it back into the box for Brown to fluff his lines from six yards out.
After the break, Lee Sim and Musgrove put good balls in the box for Tatham and Brown to be denied by super saves from the Felixstowe keeper and, on 65 minutes, they got the breakthrough they deserved.
The ball was handled on the Felixstowe line and Ryan Foster stepped up to bring the game level.
There looked to be only one winner, but United turned that assumption on its head with three goals in a crazy five minutes — two for ALlicion Blake and another for Cranfield.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s match at Wivenhoe, Smith added: “You look at the league now and Wivenhoe are the ones we have to get above.
“They may have played a lot more games than us, but we can’t afford for them to win against us.
“The boys realise now they are in a dogfight and we have only got oursleves to blame, but we are the only people who can dig ourselves out of trouble.”
Walsham: McAnally, Lambert (Claridge 72), Newman, Fenner, Morton, Brame, Simms (Robinson 65), Foster, Musgrove, Brown, Tatham (Diaper 70). Sub not used: Taylor.